Tuesday, 23 January 2018 : 3rd 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, relating to us firstly about the moment when king David brought the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God’s covenant and promise with His people, into the city of Jerusalem, after the Ark had resided for many months outside of the city, due to an accident that happened during the earlier attempt to bring it into Jerusalem.

King David himself accompanied the Ark with many other people, with priests bearing up the Ark which symbolised God’s presence and dwelling among His people Israel. It was told in that same reading how king David danced with all of his might and passion before the Lord in the Ark. The people celebrated and rejoiced because the Lord has come to dwell among His people, as symbolised by His entry into Jerusalem, the capital of the whole nation of Israel.

King David was truly blessed because he obeyed God, and he devoted himself wholeheartedly and entirely to serve his Lord and Master. He did not even hesitate to dance before the Lord, to show Him his jubilation and adoration, before the entire people of Israel. This is something that had not been seen yet in all of the history of the people of God, as it was extremely uncommon and indeed, in the eyes of many, unbecoming for a king to lower himself such as to dance before his people.

That was exactly what Michal, Saul’s daughter, whom David took to be one of his wives, told him in mockery, after having seen David wearing the ephod cloth and danced before the Lord in the procession. Yet, this roused the anger of God against Michal, who have slandered her own husband and mocked him, that she was made barren and without child from then on, as the clear sign of God’s anger upon her.

In the Gospel today, we heard about the exchange between the Lord Jesus and the people who were listening to His teachings, as it was conveyed to Him that His family was waiting for Him outside the place where He was teaching the people. But He told the people that all those who listened to the word of God and obeyed Him, they would become the children of God, as the Lord Jesus Himself would consider them to be His brothers and sisters, as His own family.

This should be understood in the context of how Jesus and His actions would be seen by many, including from those among His own family as being controversial and weird, and in another occasion, they even pulled Jesus out from the crowd, because He was spending so much time with the people, teaching them about the Word of God, that they took Him away, saying to the others that He was out of His mind.

What does these two occasions that happened to the king David of Israel and to Our Lord Jesus Christ tell us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is the revelation to us that if we are to become true disciples of the Lord and devote ourselves wholeheartedly in His ways, then we must be prepared that there will be those who slander us, attack us and doubt us. There will even be those who ridicule us and reject us, based on what we believe in the Lord.

After all, if such criticisms and difficulties were experienced by Our Lord Himself, then we can expect that the same will also happen to us if we are to obey Him and to follow Him wholeheartedly. But we must not lose faith or try to conform to whatever ways that the world expects us to do. We have to stand by our faith in the Lord and persevere through those challenging times, that we may be able to find our foundation in the Lord.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to strengthen our faith, so that even when the world and even those who are close to us ridicule our faith and commitment to God, we will always be ready to do our best, to give our very best and commit ourselves completely, to the One Who has loved us so much since the beginning of time following in the examples of David and Our Lord Jesus, as we heard in the Scriptures today. May God bless us all. Amen.

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