Today is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Maybe this could be “Hug a Jesuit Day!” More prophet talk for us today. In the first reading, the priests and prophets want Jeremiah put to death. But Jeremiah tells them, “If you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves.” In the Gospel, we read about more innocent blood, that of John the Baptist. Matthew recounts the story of his beheading at the hand of Herod.
Jeremiah managed to escape death this time. In the end, the people realized that he was indeed speaking in the name of the Lord. John the Baptist wasn’t so lucky. It reminds me about how often we “spill innocent blood.” Now, chances are you don’t actually draw blood from people through physical violence. But what about other forms of violence we cause to people?
When we gossip, spread rumors or even put words into people’s mouths, we, too, spill innocent blood. Today, let’s ask God to show us those times when we do violence to others, spilling innocent blood.
Father, forgive us for those times when we draw “innocent blood” from others. Help us to live out the Golden Rule, treating others as we would like to be treated. Amen.