Daily Bible Reading - January 11, 2024
Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (Green)
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 44: 10-11, 14-15, 24-25: Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
1st Reading: 1 Samuel 4: 1-11
At that time Samuel was a prophet of Israel. The Israelites went out to battle against the Philistines.
They encamped at Ebenezer, while the Philistines encamped at Aphek. The Philistines then drew up in battle formation.
They attacked Israel and after a fierce fighting, Israel was defeated, leaving about four thousand men dead on the battlefield.
When the troops retreated to their camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why has Yahweh allowed us to be defeated by the Philistines?
Let us take the Ark of God from Shiloh and bring it here so that Yahweh may be with us and save us from our enemies.”
So the people sent messengers to Shiloh to take the Ark of Yahweh who is seated on the cherubim. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, accompanied the Ark.
As soon as the Ark of Yahweh entered the camp, the Israelites began to cheer so loudly that the earth resounded. The Philistines heard the shouting and asked, “What does this loud shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And they were told that the Ark of Yahweh had been brought to the camp.
The Philistines were overcome with fear. They exclaimed, “A god has come into the camp. Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. Woe to us! Who can save us from the power of these mighty gods?
These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all sorts of plague and in the desert. Take courage and conduct yourselves like men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews in the same way they have been slaves to you. Be manly and fight.”
So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated. Everyone fled to his home. It was a disastrous defeat; thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel were killed.
The Ark of God was captured and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
Gospel: Mk 1:40-45
A leper came to Jesus and begged him, “If you want to, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to; be clean.”
The leprosy left the man at once and he was made clean.
As Jesus sent the man away, he sternly warned him, “Don’t tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest; and for the cleansing, bring the offering ordered by Moses; in this way, you will give to them your testimony.”
However, as soon as the man went out, he began spreading the news everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter any town.
But even though he stayed in the rural areas, people came to him from everywhere.
“Good intentions have to be actualized.”
Today’s Gospel narrates Jesus healing a leper. The leper begged Jesus to heal him – if Jesus would wish. Jesus willed it that the leper be healed. The leper was healed.
The pleading of the leper is in the subjunctive mood, in a form of a wish connoting politeness. The answer of Jesus to the leper’s wish is in the indicative mood connoting certainty. Jesus’ goodwill is always certain and it is compassion that moves Jesus to actualize his goodwill.
Side-by-side with the certainty of his good intention, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched the leper.
Thus, the desired healing of the leper by Jesus happened. At times, in our faith journey, we really want to do good things.
However, we also need to check on our motivations. Our individual motivation matters.
Furthermore, when our good intentions as separate individuals are put together, the matching collective action becomes a very powerful instrument of God’s healing power.
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