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Daily Devotional for July 31


July 31                                                             Mark 6:14-29

John died an innocent man whose death served only the ironic
whims of court intrigue. A weak king, a shrewd and conniv-
ing woman, and a daughter whose use as a pawn eluded her
youthful understanding, each played a part in the tragedy. Still,
John died, untried and innocent. Such was the world's justice,
and so much for its mercy. Strangely, the Gospel records no
public outcry, rage, or mourning. We are simply told that
John's disciples heard about his death and requested his body
for burial.

It is possible even today to live in a society where murder,
violence, and hatred exist and thrive in a matter-of-fact fashion.
In many of our cities, especially in the poverty-stricken ghet-
tos, riddled with illicit drugs and gang wars, Herod's little court
play would be mild entertainment. Day after day we retrieve
bodies, both the innocent and the guilty, and quietly bury
them, only to hear news of the next victim.

God's reign among us, which John foretold and Jesus em-
bodied, is still our best hope for breaking the cycle of rage
and death in which we live. Christ still brings direction for
the lost, healing for the afflicted, and release for those
possessed by all manner of demons. Perhaps, instead of acqui-
escence to injustice, we can find the inner resources, the social
clarity, and the moral commitment to counter oppression,
whatever its form, with the good news of God's reign - a
reign in which life is good, love is real, peace is viable, justice
is universal, and mercy flows like a river.

           Jesus, sometimes the social problems in our
      world seem so enormous that we feel immobilized.
             Help us to find ways to end the senseless
                   slaughter of innocents in our cities.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C


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