Tuesday, 18 January 2022 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures, we are called to remember the Lord’s love for each and every one of us, and how He had endeavoured to do everything for our sake. He sent us His faithful servants to help lead and guide us in our journey through life. He won’t let us to walk down the wrong path without guidance, and for that, He gave us all leaders and kings, and ultimately, His own Son, Who came into our world to be our Shepherd and King.

In our first reading today, we heard the story from the Book of the prophet Samuel, as a continuation of what we have heard earlier this and last week regarding the actions of Samuel and how Saul, the first king that God had appointed to lead the people of Israel had disobeyed Him and led the people into the wrong path through sin. Therefore, God told Samuel to find the one whom He had chosen to be the successor of Saul as the King of Israel.

David was one of the many sons of Jesse, and in fact he was the youngest among all the sons of Jesse. The prophet Samuel came to pay Jesse a visit and he came to call out all of Jesse’s sons in order to see whom among them had been chosen by God to be the new King of Israel. Initially, he thought that the oldest one among them would be the one chosen by God due to his appearance and stature, but God said to Samuel that He did not choose by appearances, but by heart.

Eventually, Samuel anointed David as the King of Israel, as God’s chosen leader for His people, and David would later on prove to be a most faithful servant of God, and while he did make mistakes and erred in several occasions, yet, he still loved God first and foremost, and he ruled over the people of God with justice and virtue. He regretted his sins, mistakes and faults, and repented from them, making the efforts to make amends for those mistakes, often humbling himself before God.

David truly loved God, and he also loved the companions who was travelling with him. As mentioned in our Gospel passage today, during the confrontation between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees regarding the Law of the Sabbath, the Lord Jesus mentioned how during his time on the run from King Saul with some of his companions, David took of the bread from the bread of offering that were reserved only for the High Priest, and even also gave some of them for his men to eat, as they were all very hungry.

At that time, during the Sabbath day, the Lord’s disciples who had been travelling with Him during His ministry and works must have been hungry, and therefore, they picked some grains of wheat along the way. To the Pharisees, who often interpreted the Law very strictly, this would be a violation of the Law, and in particular, given the tensions existing between the Lord and the Pharisees in quite a few occasions, it was not surprising that they would have made such an issue over the disciples’ actions.

What the Lord then highlighted to the Pharisees is then a reminder that what is important for us is not to worry about the way we should follow the Law and all the details, just as how the Pharisees were too fixated on those things that they failed to understand the true intention and purpose of the Law. They made use of the Law to elevate themselves above others as well as imposing their will and ideas on everyone they have been entrusted to lead and guide.

As Christians all of us are called to have genuine faith and love for God, in the manner how King David had lived his life, in love and obedience to God, as well as in his love for his fellow brothers and sisters. We should not be like many of the Pharisees who failed to love their fellow brethren, ignored the plight of the hungry and the needy, and ostracised those whom they deemed to be sinners and wicked, while praising themselves and placing themselves on a pedestal to gain fame and glory for their own benefits. This is not what it means for us to be Christians.

Let us all therefore renew our faith in the Lord, and do our very best to serve the Lord in our own capacities and in making use of the opportunities that God has given us. Remember, brothers and sisters, that our faith requires us to go out there and be inspiration to others in faith, to show genuine charity and love, concern and compassion for those who need our help and companionship. Let us be truly faithful in all things, and follow the Lord not just for appearances and formality, but dedicate ourselves thoroughly to Him. May God bless us all, now and always, evermore. Amen.

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