DAILY MASS READINGS (January 22, 2020)

WEDNESDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR II, Green)

Reading 1 (1 SAMUEL 17:32-33, 37, 40-51)

A reading from the 1st Book of Samuel

David spoke to Saul:
“Let your majesty not lose courage.
I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”
But Saul answered David,
“You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.”

David continued:
“The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear,
will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.”
Saul answered David, “Go! the LORD will be with you.”

Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi
and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag.
With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

With his shield bearer marching before him,
the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.
When he had sized David up,
and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
the Philistine held David in contempt.
The Philistine said to David,
“Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?”
Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods
and said to him, “Come here to me,
and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field.”
David answered him:
“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,
but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand;
I will strike you down and cut off your head.
This very day I will leave your corpse
and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field;
thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.
All this multitude, too,
shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves.
For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.”

The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters,
while David ran quickly toward the battle line
in the direction of the Philistine.
David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
hurled it with the sling,
and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone embedded itself in his brow,
and he fell prostrate on the ground.
Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone;
he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.
Then David ran and stood over him;
with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath
he dispatched him and cut off his head.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 144:1B, 2, 9-10)

R.    (1)  Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My refuge and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia (MATTHEW 4:23)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 3:1-6)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up here before us.”
Then he said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The First Reading narrates the victory of Israel against the Philistines because of the Lord’s goodness and power. David who is to be the succeeding king of the nation after Saul receives blessing from the former to lead the Israelites in the battle camp, especially against the strongest warrior of the opponents, Goliath. The young shepherd boy throws his slingshot that has struck the big guy down. It has given the chance for Israel to advance against the Philistine army. It shows how God looks with favor on the young King David at that time. Prior to that, God has given him strength to wrestle against a lion before facing against Goliath. The Gospel describes the healing of the paralyzed hand of a man on the Sabbath day. The Jewish leaders would find any faults in Jesus in order that they could find a way to sentence him to death. In this case, they observe whether he would heal in violation to the law that forbids work on holy day. Jesus did heal the man’s crippled hand, and before that, he denounces the leaders for burdening their fellow people to receive God’s grace of healing. The result is their plot against him, which shows how they cannot be clean in the inside whether they appear such in the outside. This miracle shows how God is love and that his love should be manifested to all. If laws and norms would restrict us from doing non-conforming acts, then we must do good to everyone without any hesitation. Like David, we should have that strength and courage from the Lord that like Jesus Christ, we may be witnesses of his love, mercy, and compassion to all.

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