Thursday, January 30, 2014
Friday 3rd Week in Ordinary Time
2 Sm 11: 1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17/ Ps 51: 3-4, 5-6a, 6bcd-7, 10-11/ Mk 4: 26-34
[Memorial, St. John Bosco]
Reading: 2 Sm 11: 1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17
In the spring of that year, when kings usually set out to fight, David sent out Joab, his officers and all the Israelite troops. They slaughtered the Ammonites and attacked Rabbah, while David remained in Jerusalem. One afternoon, David got up from his siesta and took a walk on the roof of the royal house. From the rooftop, he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. David sent to inquire about the woman, and was told, "She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah, the Hittite." So David sent messengers to have her brought to him; and he had intercourse with her. Then she returned to her house. As the woman saw she was with child, she sent word to David, "I am with child." David then sent a message to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came, David asked him about Joab, how the people were and how the war was proceeding;
then he told Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." Uriah left the palace and the king had a portion from his table sent to him. Uriah, however, did not go down to his house but slept by the door of the king's palace with all the servants of his lord. David was told that Uriah did not go down to his house, and he said to him, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" David invited him to table and he ate and drank until he was drunk. When evening fell, however, he went to lie down on his couch with the guards of his lord instead of going down to his house. The next morning, David wrote Joab a letter to be taken by hand by Uriah, in which he said, "Place Uriah in the front row where the fighting is very fierce and then withdraw from him so that he may be struck down and die." When Joab was attacking the city, he assigned Uriah to a place which he knew was being defended by strong warriors. And the defenders attacked the men of Joab. Some of David's soldiers and officers were killed; Uriah the Hittite also died.
Gospel: Mk 4: 26-34
Jesus also said, "In the kingdom of God it is like this. A man scatters seed upon the soil. Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how. The soil produces of itself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear, And when it is ripe for harvesting they take the sickle for the cutting: the time for harvest has come." Jesus also said, "What is the kingdom of God like? To what shall we compare it? It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all the seeds scattered upon the soil. But once sown, it grows up and becomes the largest of the plants in the garden and even grows branches so big that the birds of the air can take shelter in its shade." Jesus used many such stories or parables to proclaim the word to them in a way they would be able to understand. He would not teach them without parables; but privately to his disciples he explained everything.
Loving and believing in Jesus is the core of all Christians. Being a Christian does not mean that we will live a charmed life, that we will have it all, that success is a certainty and that Jesus will never let us feel pain and sorrow. Jesus gives his love to all of his creations regardless of what we do, what we have achieved, and what we are. Jesus loves us unconditionally. He sees the whole picture. What we consider as the milestones of success and failure might not be the same measuring stick he uses to measure our success and failure. What we see as a mustard-seed-size success will grow "and become the largest of the plants in the garden and even grow branches so big that the birds of the air can take shelter in its shade." It may not bear fruit now but it will blossom under his direction in the future.
"Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." (Vaclav Havel) Think back in your life. Were there incidents in your life in which you thought you worked hard for something but received little success? Or when failure, pain and sufferings were your constant companions? Or when you cried out to the Lord for help and received none? Now look back in hindsight. Was that part of your life an integral part of who you are and where you are now?
Pray for the grace to receive the strength to trust in the Lord all of who you are and all that you do. For only he knows what is in store for us and will give us what is the best for us.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
… for families who are in need of healing
… 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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