When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.

It is hard to wake up to read the following headlines:

Back to Back bursts of gun violence stun America

Suspect’s sister among 9 killed in mass shooting

Crowd shouts down governor during vigil

Trump condemns deadly attacks amid criticism

Ivanka says white supremacy is evil

Mexico to seek extradition of El Paso shooter

Mom died shielding her 2 month old baby

It is sometimes rather hard to keep a christian tone when I wake up in the morning and read about all the violence that surrounds me/us.  I like to go to the daily Mass readings to start my day and even in doing that today, it started out with a somber reading from the Book of Numbers.  Take a glance again at how our reading ends this morning…

I cannot carry all this people by myself,
for they are too heavy for me.
If this is the way you will deal with me,
then please do me the favor of killing me at once,
so that I need no longer face this distress.

Moses pleading to God that the burden of an ungrateful nation is to much for him to bear any longer so he asks God to do him of the favor of “killing me at once” so as not to face the distress of an ungrateful people.

In our Gospel, we are reminded briefly of the violence that was there during Christs’ time on earth hearing again about the death of his cousin when Herod had John the Baptist beheaded.

As I read that opening line (of the Gospel) I was shown a message from our Holy Spirit that I want you to take notice of too.  When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.  From this short passage I learn that in times of difficulty, the best thing to do is to retreat, think, pray.  Don’t let the emotion that you feel in the immediate aftermath of whatever violent act that was perpetrated on the innocent cause you to do something that isn’t necessary not helps solve the problems at hand.  Follow the example of Christ.  Go to that quiet place where you find peace and solitude and pray to God to show a way to you that keeps you focused on what is Christian and what is good.  If we keep reading on in our Gospel, the people found Christ, listened to His message and then witnessed the miracle of the loaves and fishes.  Christ remained focused on His mission because He took the time to retreat from the violence of the day and set His mind straight on what is good – not evil.

I pray that I can do the same in my life.  I will pray today that all of us find the wisdom and time to retreat from this violence.  Take the time to ask God for guidance, forgiveness and healing.

Do something great for our Lord today – take a breath, hold back your opinions, comments, criticisms and just take some time to pray that all this violence ends.  We can start our day with the pray to St. Michael the Archangel…

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

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