Friday, January 19, 2018

1 Samuel 24:3-21, Psalm 57:2-4, 6 & 11, Mark 3:13-19


God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 2Cor 5:19

1 Samuel 24:3-21, Psalm 57:2-4, 6 & 11, Mark 3:13-19

1 Samuel 24:3-21

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

In today's first reading we see that David was a man of integrity and that Saul was a man who allowed his emotions to dictate his actions - emotions that were as ephemeral as the morning mist. He could not be trusted. He did not know who his true enemy was and instead pursed David who would not lay a hand on him even though Saul sought to kill him.

Who am I most like Beloved, Saul or David? Am I a person of integrity. Do I choose to do right at all costs or do I allow my feelings to dictate my actions? It was David who understood that Saul was anointed by God and hence even though Saul had declared him to be the enemy whom his army hounded and sought to kill, yet David refused to lay a hand on him and kill him even though he could have killed Saul on many occasions. 

Do I choose good over evil? Do I discern God's will before I act? With whom do I take counsel, people or the Holy Spirit? Many may encourage me to choose my own good before the good of another however, Lord, grant that I may always allow God to direct my thoughts, my words, and my actions. 

David trusted God and not Saul to give him the inheritance that was promised him by God. May I too always put my trust in You rather than in people with power and influence who in the end will always disappoint me and let me down. Help me always to remember that with You at my side I am invincible.

Psalm 57:2-4, 6 & 11

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You are the God of mercy, kindness, faithfulness, and love. No one who puts their hope in You will ever be disappointed or afraid. For with You are our right hand no harm shall ever come to those who find refuge in You. Your mighty arm of protection is raised over those who know that without You they are lost but covered in Your shadow they are safe. No evil shall overtake those who run to You and hide in You as chicks hide in the wings of the mother hen.

Beloved, may I always cry out to You in times of trouble. May I never look to anyone else for help but to raise my eyes and my heart to You because You will never fail me. People make empty promises but You are faithful and Your Word is unchanging. You are the same yesterday, today, and always. Grant that with every breath I breathe, as long as I live, give You praise, glory, and honor.

Mark 3:13-19

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Until now we have read how crowds followed You wherever You went. The crowds were so large that there was a fear sometimes that they would trample on You. But from the crowds You chose just 12 who would form Your inner circle.

The Gospel tells us that You went up the mountain - this is significant. The mountain top is the place where we meet God and He reveals Himself to us and gives us our mission. So it was when You called the  Apostles. We have their names mentioned today - some have left an indelible mark and we know more about them than others. Ten of the twelve lay down their lives for the faith and for You. The one who died of old age was imprisoned and exiled and the one who betrayed You was so overwhelmed at the ghastly thing he had done he took his own life.

Each of the twelve had a specific mission. Peter's role was preeminent  over the rest, not because he was better than they but because this was what God willed. You called each by name, You empowered them, and You commissioned them to go out into world and preach the Good News to the ends of the earth and to establish Your Kingdom of God. This mission has been successfully handed down by the first Apostles to the present day and the work of salvation will continue until You come again in glory to claim Your inheritance.

Beloved, if each of us in the Catholic Church took our mission seriously then Your Kingdom would already be here; sadly we have been too caught up with our own lives. Give us a fresh understanding of what it means to be children of the Father, redeemed by You His Son, and sanctified and commissioned by the Holy Spirit so with His help we can renew the face of the earth.

1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7, Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13, Mark 3:7-12


Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel. 2Tm 1:10

1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7, Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13, 
Mark 3:7-12

1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Too often like Saul we become envious of others and this tempts us to sin against them. It was true that David won a great victory in destroying Goliath and the Philistines but Saul was jealous when the women sang joyful songs of victory praising David. We too on occasion are resentful of the successes of others. Forgive me Beloved for the many times I too have been envious of others. Give me a generous spirit so that I may recognize and praise the successes of others. 

Jonathan was a true friend to David. He was willing to go against his father who was seeking to destroy David and he interceded on his behalf. Help me not to be afraid to speak up in defense of those who are unable to plead for themselves. May I always seek to heal and reconcile rather than tear down and destroy.

Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

In You I trust and if I trust You then I need fear nothing and no one. With You doing battle on my behalf I am invincible. Who can stand against me and prevail when You are at my side? Too often Beloved, my enemy is myself, my flesh, my sinful, evil inclinations, my propensity to sin and self-indulgence. I need Your help, Your strength, Your Spirit to overcome. 

Thank You for Your assurance that You hear every sigh and that You collect my tears. Give me a genuine sorrow for sin. Grant that I may weep over my frailty and beg for Your help for on my own I can do nothing. I trust in You Beloved, I shall not fail, for I have Your assurance that You are with me. Your Spirit is in me and greater is He who is in me that he who is in the world.

Mark 3:7-12

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

Unclean spirit know and recognize You, and even fall before You shouting, "You are Son of God." People came from everywhere for they had heard of You. The thronged around You, pressed against You, flocked in numbers so great that there was a danger of them crushing You. 

You asked the disciples to keep a boat ready for You because of the large number of people who could barely be contained. The boat is a symbol of the Church You founded. Our churches are empty in most parts of the world. Only a few old people can be found in the pews. The Day of the Lord is not honored although it is a day of obligation and we are as Catholics required to attend Holy Mass at least once a week on Sunday. 

The world has turned its back on You and has made idols of men and women. People who are ignorant of God and His Law of Love are preaching a gospel of the worship of self and material possessions. How far we have strayed from the truth Beloved and yet we wring our hands and moan when we find that there is no joy in our hearts only darkness and emptiness. We try to fill the emptiness within with the things of the world, with the cravings of our body, with images of false gods and nothing satisfies. 

It is those who believe who have failed. Had we a bold conviction of our faith in You then we would have a fire in our soul, and a raging desire within us to set the world on fire with love for You. But we are too caught up with our own narrow needs. Have mercy on us O Lord and set us who profess to believe on fire anew with the zeal of the Holy Spirit that we in turn may draw people back to You.