Readings and Reflection for January 22, Saturday of the Second Week

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FIRST READING
“How are the mighty fallen!
The beginning of the second Book of Samuel (2 Samuel 1: 1-4.11- 12. 19.23-27)

In those days: After the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag; and on the third day, behold,’ a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and earth upon his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and did obeisance. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people have fled from the ’battle, and many of the people also have fallen and are dead; and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” Then David took hold of his clothes, and tore them; and so did all the men who were with him; and they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. [And David said:] “Your glory, O Israel, is slain upon your high places! How are the mighty fallen! Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you daintily in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished! ”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 80:2-,3,5-7 (R. 4b)
R/. Let your face shine on us, Lord,
and we shall be saved.

O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
you who lead Joseph like a flock:
enthroned on the cherubim, shine
forth upon Ephraim, Benjamin, Manasseh
Rouse up your might and come to save us. R/.

R/. Let your face shine on us, Lord,
and we shall be saved.

How long, O Lord, God of hosts,
will you be angry at the prayer of your people?
You have fed them with tears for their bread,
an abundance of tears for their drink.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbours;
our foes mock us among themselves. R/.

ALLELUIA Acts 16:14b
Alleluia. Open our hearts, O Lord, that we may give heed to the words of your Son. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“They said, ’He is beside himself. ”’
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 3:20-21)

In that time: Jesus went home with his disciples; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. And when his friends heard it, they went out to seize him, for they said, “He is beside himself.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTIONS
What an interesting passage this is.  We start with the obvious premise that Jesus is perfect in every way.  He is the very Wisdom of God and is God.  Everything He said and did reveals the perfect love of the Most Holy Trinity. But what was the response to Him?  Some people, of course, listened to Him attentively with faith and glorious astonishment at His words and actions.  They could see His divinity shine through and knew He was the Son of God, the Savior of the World. But this passage reveals that others, even some who were His own relatives, thought He was “Out of His mind!”  Very interesting and very revealing for our own faith journey. If this was said of Jesus in His perfection, so it also will be said of us if we follow in His ways. 

Following Jesus and fulfilling His divine will in our lives will not always be accepted by others.  Yes, acts of kindness and mercy toward the less fortunate, for example, will generally be seen by all as a good and virtuous thing to do.  But there are many things we are called to say and do by the Gospel that will invite the criticism of others.  When this happens, we should not be astonished, hurt or scandalized.  We should not become angry or resentful.  Rather, we should see ourselves as following in the very footsteps of Christ.  We should recall His own false judgments and not allow what we experience from others to deter us from following the will of God. Reflect, today, upon any way that we may experience the same thing that Jesus did.  Reflect upon ways that our fidelity to our Lord and His mission may leave others with a critical word or thought toward us.  Do not be shocked or scandalized when this happens.  Instead, know that it is nothing other than an imitation of the life of Christ Jesus Himself.

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