Friday, 19 January 2018 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking unto us a very wonderful and amazing act of mercy and forgiveness which David, the faithful servant of God performed, when he was given the perfect opportunity to get what he wanted. At that time, as we heard in the first reading today from the Book of the prophet Samuel, king Saul had been searching many places for David, his rival to the throne.

David was a fugitive and a rebel, in the eyes of the king and his people, not because of what he himself had done, as David had been very loyal to the king, even though he knew that he was to be the one to replace Saul as king, as God Himself had decreed. He certainly had many opportunities to rise up against Saul and install himself as king, overthrowing his predecessor. His popularity after his victory against Goliath and his many other victories in battle made him enormously popular amongst the people, even more so than Saul.

But David did not do all that, and even as in today’s Scripture passage we heard of a perfect opportunity for him to overthrow Saul, he refused to take the chance. At that time, king Saul was resting after he was feeling tired going around many places to hunt for David. And it happened that David was in that same cave as well. Even his compatriots and advisers persuaded him to go forth and slay Saul who was sleeping, unaware of the great danger he was in.

Instead, David rebuked them and said that they must not touch the one who have been anointed by God as king. David himself had been anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel, but so did Saul, and in David’s sight, only God alone has the right to decide when Saul would die and meet his end, and not by any human hands. In fact, if we read on the next Book of the prophet Samuel, when king Saul killed himself to avoid capture or humiliation at the battle against the Philistines, and a man tried to capitalise on that by claiming that he had killed Saul before David, David had the man executed for high treason.

David showed all of us the example of good discipleship, obeying the Lord and walking righteously in His path. While he was not perfect as he also committed some crucial errors during his later reign as king, but even as he committed those sinful acts, he recognised them and was very remorseful for all that he had done, which was against the Lord’s will. In several of David’s psalms, including the one which is used for today’s Mass, he highlighted the importance of penance and regret for one’s sins in looking for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

In today’s Gospel, we then heard about the Lord Jesus and His calling of the Twelve Apostles. He chose twelve from among the disciples to be His principle disciples and servants, through whom He would bring to mankind the fullness of His Good News and good works. He called them from among the people, from various backgrounds, and many of them were illiterate and ordinary people.

Yet, He empowered them and showed them with His truth and teachings, guiding them and preparing them for a lifetime of service. Not everything went perfectly well of course, as we knew how Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord and fell off from grace. Judas Iscariot did not obey the Lord but instead he followed his own corrupted desires, and this is the path which we should not be following.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us as Christians are also called to be like the Apostles, and to be like king David, to be like all of them in their obedience to the Lord, their surrender to the Lord’s will, and their commitment to live their lives wholeheartedly out of love for God and for their fellow men. It is important that we should not just live a life empty of faith, as without doing all that we are supposed to be doing as those who follow the Lord, our faith is empty and meaningless.

Therefore, let us all reevaluate our lives and think of the ways in which we can live our lives with greater commitment, by not turning away from our brothers and sisters, should they be in need of help and love. There are many in our world today who are suffering from neglect, abandonment, and even persecution. It is up to us then, to reach out to them in various ways available to us, and love them.

Then, all of us will be considered worthy to be counted among the good servants of God, including king David and the Apostles of the Lord. Let us all strive towards this goal in our respective lives, that eventually, we will share the eternal glory and joy which God has promised to all of us, His faithful people. Amen.

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