Tag Archives: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

What Have I Done?

So frightened
by those who tell the truth,
terrified of being
found out,
trying so hard
to keep face
in front of my friends.

Who is this man
who knows so much
about me?
The real me?
Who looks into people’s lives
and sees the truth?

I am a weak man,
easily persuaded
however foolish
or cruel
the outcome;
backed into a corner
by my own ego
and need to look good.
Feeling the need
to remove someone
who calls me out
on my life choices.

Taking a life
for sport.

What have I done?

Lord as I look at other people
it can be so easy to see their faults,
what I think they are doing wrong
or how they are hurting me,
but I’m not always so quick
to look at my life
so critically.

Help me to look
and think
and live
for you.

Mark 6:14-29 (CEV)

The Death of John the Baptist

14 Jesus became so well-known that Herod the ruler heard about him. Some people thought he was John the Baptist, who had come back to life with the power to work miracles. 15 Others thought he was Elijah or some other prophet who had lived long ago. 16 But when Herod heard about Jesus, he said, “This must be John! I had his head cut off, and now he has come back to life.”

17-18 Herod had earlier married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. But John had told him, “It isn’t right for you to take your brother’s wife!” So, in order to please Herodias, Herod arrested John and put him in prison.

19 Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she could not do it 20 because Herod was afraid of John and protected him. He knew that John was a good and holy man. Even though Herod was confused by what John said,[c] he was glad to listen to him. And he often did.

21 Finally, Herodias got her chance when Herod gave a great birthday celebration for himself and invited his officials, his army officers, and the leaders of Galilee. 22 The daughter of Herodias came in and danced for Herod and his guests. She pleased them so much that Herod said, “Ask for anything, and it’s yours! 23 I swear that I will give you as much as half of my kingdom, if you want it.”

24 The girl left and asked her mother, “What do you think I should ask for?”

Her mother answered, “The head of John the Baptist!”

25 The girl hurried back and told Herod, “Right now on a platter I want the head of John the Baptist!”

26 The king was very sorry for what he had said. But he did not want to break the promise he had made in front of his guests. 27 At once he ordered a guard to cut off John’s head there in prison. 28 The guard put the head on a platter and took it to the girl. Then she gave it to her mother.

29 When John’s followers learned that he had been killed, they took his body and put it in a tomb.

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The Plumb Line

Checking uprightness,
measuring depth,
pointing directly to the centre.
Showing how it should be
and how from the true
reality is.

The plumb line
tells it all.

God knows,
God shows.

How do I measure up?
How do I stand?

Am I true?
What is my depth?
Where is my centre?

Am I just?
Fair?
Loving?
True to you
and your ways?

Measure me up Lord,
and may I respond
to what you see.

The Plumb Line and the City – Coventry Cathedral By Jim Linwood [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
The Measure of a Man

Amos 7:7-15 (CEV)

A Vision of a Measuring Line

The Lord showed me a vision of himself standing beside a wall and holding a string with a weight tied to the end of it. The string and weight had been used to measure the straightness of the wall. Then he asked, “Amos, what do you see?”

“A measuring line,” I answered.

The Lord said, “I’m using this measuring line to show that my people Israel don’t measure up, and I won’t forgive them any more. Their sacred places will be destroyed, and I will send war against the nation of King Jeroboam.”

Amos and Amaziah

10 Amaziah the priest at Bethel sent this message to King Jeroboam of Israel, “Amos is plotting against you in the very heart of Israel. Our nation cannot put up with his message for very long. 11 Here is what he is saying:

‘Jeroboam will be put to death,
and the people will be taken
    to a foreign country.’”

12 Then Amaziah told me, “Amos, take your visions and get out! Go back to Judah and earn your living there as a prophet. 13 Don’t do any more preaching at Bethel. The king worships here at our national temple.”

14 I answered:

I’m not a prophet! And I wasn’t trained to be a prophet. I am a shepherd, and I take care of fig trees. 15 But the Lord told me to leave my herds and preach to the people of Israel.