In today’s Missal the following reading and Gospel are as follows :
First Reading 1 Samuel 17:32–33, 37, 40–51
Gospel Mark 3:1–6
Summary of the first reading
The battle is God’s battle. If our confidence is purely in the power of God rather than our own sufficiency, we may be certain the world’s utmost might cannot withstand. God resists the proud and pours contempt upon those who bid defiance to His people.
- David found the armour provided for by Samuel burdensome, he decided to go into battle with the armour of God instead. How many of us facing our biggest, toughest problem carry all our anxiety and baggage with us? Do we lift our burdens to the Lord our God and trust in Him to help us?
- It was common in ancient times when opponents who faced off in battle, to launch derogatory remarks, expletives, even boasts. Goliath did just that and more, he cursed David with his gods! David however, in piety merely uttered that our God of Hosts will cut him and his people down for their defiance and arrogance. How many of us have the Goliath complex? Insolent, boastful, prideful, overcome with rage? How many of us when facing such a giant in vulnerability has the faith to do as David did?
- David’s victory over Goliath is a type of the triumph of the Son of God over Satan. Goliath is also a remarkable type of the anti-Christ ( note 6 pieces of armour, vv. 5-7). Just as David anointed for the kingship but not yet in power is defied by the boastful champion who he overcomes in the name of the Lord of Hosts, so too when Jesus comes as Lord of Hosts, anti-Christ will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming.
Summary Of Today’s Gospel
Those who are bound by disease and evil spirits are the special object of Jesus compassion and may find complete deliverance in Him, do they but stretch out the hand of faith toward Him. Those are obstinate indeed in their unbelief, who set themselves against being convinced of the power of Christ by trying to explain it away, or attributing it to the devil. All such are sinning against their last remedy.
While the summary contains many levels in itself for reflection, I would like to highlight a point. The Pharisees were waiting and watching to see if Jesus was going to perform an unlawful act in their opinion by healing the man with the withered hand. They were an extremely ritualistic bunch bent on following the law to the latter. Horses with blinds so to speak!
How many of us have fallen into meaningless rituals? Do the rituals we perform bring us closer to God? Do they bring joy into our lives and the lives of others? Do they allow us to share the Good News? Morning and evening prayers, attending Mass are just a few examples of the rituals in our lives, are they done with life, vigour, spirit filled?
Let us liveth in Christ as Christ liveth in us…..Amen!