Commentary on the Gospel of

Nancy Shirley

The readings for today are wonderful in that they are both reassuring and challenging.  As I read them I was filled with encouragement  knowing that I have entertained angles and challenged by the gospel to question how I live my faith.



The first reading encourages us to let our love show, to focus on the most important aspects of life.  I loved the part about not neglecting hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.  I know that I have been blessed by many angels in my life – some I did not immediately appreciate.  I pray regularly throughout the day to my Guardian Angel whose presence I am very much aware of during difficult times. This reading also reminded to not be afraid – we will never be forsaken.


The opening stanza is the responsorial psalm says it all: the LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?  There is such power and comfort in those words.   Chris Tomlin has a new song entitled, Whom shall I fear?  The lyrics really pull together both of these readings with the idea of angel armies at our side.  The words are wonderful . . .


I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of Angel Armies

Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever 

He is a friend of mine 

The God of Angel Armies 

Is always by my side


When I read the gospel I immediately remembered a movie from the 50's or 60's that depicted this story in a very vivid scene.  King Herod watched the frenzied dance and was totally entertained making promises that he would regrettably have to keep.  I also remembered that growing up at that time there seemed to be many movies of this kind: the “epic” Ben Hur, The Robe, and Quo Vadis to name a few.  They are still vivid in my memory because they inspired and intrigued me.  I read the books that they were based on with great relish.  I imagined what life was for the followers of Christ when he was alive and pondered the hardships of early Christians.  I was mesmerized by the challenges they faced.  As a child, I would imagine being there.  How would I act?  What would I do?  Obviously, I did not live then so I was not “tested” in that same way.  The real question is in my life now, how do I live up to the challenges.  Oh, I’m not worried that I have to face lions or soldiers coming to persecute or torture me (although still reality for many Christians in other countries).  Do I face challenges in standing up for what I believe to be right and true?  Do I stay quiet when my voice should be heard?  Do my actions indicate my beliefs?  Do I walk “hand in hand?”  Will “they know I am Christian by my love, by my love? Will they know I am Christian by my love?”


write comment
Please enter the letters as they are shown in the image above.