Tuesday, January 17, 2006



JANUARY 18, 2006

1 SAMUEL 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
David spoke to Saul: "Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at
your service to go and fight this Philistine." But Saul answered
David, "You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his
youth." David continued: "The LORD, who delivered me from the claws
of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches
of this Philistine." Saul answered David, "Go! the LORD will be with
you." Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from
the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag. With his
sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine. With his
shield bearer marching before him, the Philistine also advanced
closer and closer to David. When he had sized David up, and seen
that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, the
Philistine held David in contempt. The Philistine said to David, "Am
I a dog that you come against me with a staff?" Then the Philistine
cursed David by his gods and said to him, "Come here to me, and I
will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the
field." David answered him: "You come against me with sword and
spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD
of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you
down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse
and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and
the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel
has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by
sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD's and
he shall deliver you into our hands." The Philistine then moved to
meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the
battle line in the direction of the Philistine. David put his hand
into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and
struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in
his brow, and he fell prostrate on the ground. Thus David overcame
the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine
mortally, and did it without a sword. Then David ran and stood over
him; with the Philistine's own sword which he drew from its sheath
he dispatched him and cut off his head.

MARK 3:1-6
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a
withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure
him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man
with the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then he said to
the Pharisees, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than
to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they
remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at
their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your
hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees
went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him
to put him to death.

Our gospel for today narrates one of the events in the healing
ministry of our Lord Jesus. On this occasion, Jesus intentionally
went against the established Sabbath norms in his time, to show
everyone the primacy of love and compassion over any established man-
made practices or laws.

Although the story related in today's Gospel is familiar to many of
us, perhaps the impact it gives to us this year may be different.
Let us try to recall some incidents in this last year where we faced
similar circumstances. Have we encountered times that we have
grieved at our own or other's hardness of heart?

Not long ago, a friend and I were walking home to prepare ourselves
to attend Sunday Mass. On the way, we saw a woman in the middle of
the street. She was conscious but seemed to be suffering from
pain. My friend and I wanted to hurry home so as not to be late for
mass. However, the story of the good Samaritan stood at the back of
my mind, so instead we decided to approach her and offer some
assistance. It seems that this woman needed some money for
medicines. As more people joined us to find out what was wrong with
this woman, a taxi passed by and someone in the crowd volunteered to
accompany her to the nearest hospital. Since I did not have much
money with me, I gave her all that I can spare. Afterwards, I
related this incident to another friend of ours. To my surprise, he
told me that he knew of another incident similar to ours. It seems
that the woman used situations like these to solicit money from
passersby and good-hearted people. Incidences like these gives rise
to situations where in we become angry and sad, not only because we
were taken advantage of but also because it encourages one to become
indifferent and develop hardness of heart.

There are times we may feel helpless and at a loss of what to do
especially in the midst of real crisis. It doesn't help any when we
experience events wherein we feel that people are using others for
their own benefit. But in time of real crisis, the readings of
today reminds us that Jesus will be there to help us and cure us,
even when we are full of doubt and are blind because we listen to
misleading rationalizations from skeptics and atheists.

Faith in God will bring God with us. All it takes is acceptance,
prayer, and practicing what Jesus preaches.

"Lord, in your victory over sin and death on the cross and in your
resurrection you give us the assurance of sharing in the eternal
rest of heaven. Transform my heart with your love that I may freely
serve my neighbor for his good and find joy and refreshment in the
celebration of Sunday as the Lord's Day."

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- Thanksgiving and personal intentions of Baby Jane Figuerres.
- for the personal intentions of Charles Conrad C and Cheryl C.
- for the continued improvement & recovery of Mike Torres.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Peter Roxas
- Wedding Anniversary: Francisco & Jenny Ngchee
- In Memoriam (+): Dr. Kasian Lim (Dec 6, 1929 - Jan 18, 2005)
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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