When you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart.
The woman on the park bench was gnarled and dirty. Her hair was an uncombed mess, her clothes torn and old. She clutched a paper bag to her side, which seemed to contain her belongings. She sat in the sun, humming to herself. Occasionally she threw a bit of popcorn to ducks who waited at her feet. A little boy and his mother sat by the lake, not wanting to share the bench with this wild-eyed old woman. But when the old woman beckoned to the little boy to share her popcorn with him, he ran to the bench and let out squeals of laughter as they fed the hungry ducks.
Our world is full of variety and surprises. Would we have it any other way? When we shun someone because of the way they look, we cut ourselves off from part of life. But when we are ready for anything - accepting and trusting - we are a wonder to everyone.
How shall I judge people today?
Daily Bible Readings From The Universal Life Church World Headquarters
Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up and tell them all I command you. Have no fear of them and in their presence I will make you fearless.
18 For look, today I have made you into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of bronze to stand against the whole country: the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the people of the country.
19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you, Yahweh declares, to rescue you.'
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put to shame.
2 In your saving justice rescue me, deliver me, listen to me and save me.
3 Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you have determined to save me, for you are my rock, my fortress.
4 My God, rescue me from the clutches of the wicked, from the grasp of the rogue and the ruthless.
5 For you are my hope, Lord, my trust, Yahweh, since boyhood.
6 On you I have relied since my birth, since my mother's womb you have been my portion, the constant theme of my praise.
15 My lips shall proclaim your saving justice, your saving power all day long.
17 God, you have taught me from boyhood, and I am still proclaiming your marvels.
Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife whom he had married.
18 For John had told Herod, 'It is against the law for you to have your brother's wife.'
19 As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him, but she was not able to do so,
20 because Herod was in awe of John, knowing him to be a good and upright man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
21 An opportunity came on Herod's birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee.
22 When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, 'Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.'
23 And he swore her an oath, 'I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.'
24 She went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?' She replied, 'The head of John the Baptist.'
25 The girl at once rushed back to the king and made her request, 'I want you to give me John the Baptist's head, immediately, on a dish.'
26 The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her.
27 At once the king sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John's head.
28 The man went off and beheaded him in the prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When John's disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
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