Second Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1Sam 24:3-21
Saul took three thousand picked men from all Israel and went in search of David and his men in the direction of the wild goat crags. When he came to the sheepfolds along the way, he found a cave, which he entered to relieve himself. David and his men were occupying the inmost recesses of the cave. David’s servants said to him, “This is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘I will deliver your enemy into your grasp; do with him as you see fit.’” So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul’s mantle. Afterward, however, David regretted that he had cut off an end of Saul’s mantle. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, as to lay a hand on him, for he is the LORD’s anointed.” With these words David restrained his men and would not permit them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave and went on his way. David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked back, David bowed to the ground in homage and asked Saul: “Why do you listen to those who say, ‘David is trying to harm you’? You see for yourself today that the LORD just now delivered you into my grasp in the cave. I had some thought of killing you, but I took pity on you instead. I decided, ‘I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed and a father to me.’ Look here at this end of your mantle which I hold. Since I cut off an end of your mantle and did not kill you, see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion. I have done you no wrong, though you are hunting me down to take my life. The LORD will judge between me and you, and the LORD will exact justice from you in my case. I shall not touch you. The old proverb says, ‘From the wicked comes forth wickedness.’ So I will take no action against you. Against whom are you on campaign, O king of Israel? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea! The LORD will be the judge; he will decide between me and you. May he see this, and take my part, and grant me justice beyond your reach!” When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul answered, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And Saul wept aloud. Saul then said to David: “You are in the right rather than I; you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm. Great is the generosity you showed me today, when the LORD delivered me into your grasp and you did not kill me. For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed? May the LORD reward you generously for what you have done this day. And now, I know that you shall surely be king and that sovereignty over Israel shall come into your possession.”
Gospel: Mk 3:13-19
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
THEY CAME TO HIM: In the first reading, God deliveres Saul into the hands of David. Following the enemity between the two, David would have been justified to harm his enemy. However, his response challenges our degree of forgiveness and our desire to see God’s goodness in others – how can I lay my hand against the anointed of the Lord? We too, in baptism and in confirmation, are anointed and therefore protected. We also receive further anointing when we are severely sick. Since our priests are anointed, do we fight or protect them? Do we also fight or protect the anointed ones; the priests and other church ministers? Unfortunately, we often raise our hands against the anointed of the Lord in different ways, against those with whom we share the anointing. As Christians, we have been called by Jesus, the way he called the apostles. We are called to do his Will. May we learn to respect the anointed.
Prayer: Lord, help us to respect our fellow anointed ones, support each other in our call to holiness.
VISION OF A NEW DAWN: A young girl overwhelmed by the setbacks in life decided to commit suicide. She looked for a clean sheet of paper to write a suicide note. In her search she chanced upon an old, faded greeting card with the title “Hope”. It had the image of a young man playing a guitar which had just single string. A wave of emotions swept over her; if this man can produce heart touching music on just a single string, what can I not achieve? Determined to live, she rose up ready to fight. In Moses, we see a strong desire and this time it is to do God’s will. Moses meets God on the mountain. Elijah too, determined to do God’s will gets strength from God on a mountain. Also on a mountain, Jesus calls His Twelve to join His mission. Jesus picks these ordinary people and tasks them. In joining the invitation and led by hope and motivated with His proximity let us be co- builders of the Kingdom of God. Let us be determined to do God’s will and listen to His call in the mountains of our lives.
JESUS WENT UP THE MOUNTAIN: Jesus went up the mountain like Moses. As Moses formed a new nation with the 12 tribes of Israel, Jesus founds a new community with the 12 apostles. Moses gave them the law. Jesus’ agenda for this community is different: to “be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” The starting point is to be him; to have a personal encounter with him. This is the core of the community. Going out, preaching, and overcoming evil in the society are only an overflow of that experience of “being with him.” Whatever be my specific vocation in the Church, do I reduce my role in the Church as doing things or am I able to focus on being-with-him!