Daily Bible Reading - January 16, 2024
Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 2 / (Green)
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 89: 20, 21-22, 27-28: I have found David, my servant.
1st Reading: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13
Yahweh asked Samuel, “How long will you be grieving over Saul whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”
Samuel asked, “How can I go? If Saul hears of this, he will kill me!” Yahweh replied, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice and I will let you know what to do next. You shall anoint for me the one I point out to you.”
Samuel did what Yahweh commanded and left for Bethlehem. When he appeared, the elders of the city came to him asking, fearfully, “Do you bring us peace?” Samuel replied, “I come in peace; I am here to sacrifice to Yahweh. Cleanse yourselves and join me in the sacrifice.” He also had Jesse and his sons cleansed and invited them to the sacrifice.
As they came, Samuel looked at Eliab the older and thought, “This must be Yahweh’s anointed.” But Yahweh told Samuel, “Do not judge by his looks or his stature for I have rejected him. Yahweh does not judge as man judges; humans see with the eyes; Yahweh sees the heart.”
Jesse called his son Abinadab and presented him to Samuel who said, “Yahweh has not chosen this one either.” Jesse presented Shammah and Samuel said, “Nor has Yahweh chosen this one.” Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel who said, “Yahweh has chosen none of them. But are all your sons here?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, tending the flock just now.”
Samuel said to him, “Send for him and bring him to me; we shall not sit down to eat until he arrives.” So Jesse sent for his youngest son and brought him to Samuel. He was a handsome lad with a ruddy complexion and beautiful eyes.
And Yahweh spoke, “Go, anoint him for he is the one.”
Samuel then took the horn of oil and anointed him in his brothers’ presence.
From that day onwards, Yahweh’s spirit took hold of David. Then Samuel left for Ramah.
Gospel: Mk 2:23-28
One Sabbath he was walking through grain fields. As his disciples walked along with him, they began to pick the heads of grain and crush them in their hands.
Then the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look! They are doing what is forbidden on the Sabbath!” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did in his time of need; when he and his men were very hungry? He went into the House of God, when Abiathar was High Priest, and ate; the bread of offering, which only the priests are allowed to eat, and he also gave some to the men who were with him.”
Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is master even of the Sabbath.”
Taking up greater responsibilities requires a brave heart. It is one’s attitude and not physical appearance that reveals a courageous heart. One may look physically strong but may not be able to make a stand for the good of others. Fearful-hearted people commonly resort to rules.
In the first reading, David was chosen by the Lord not because of his appearance but because of his brave heart. David would prefer the wellbeing of people to following institutionalized set of rules.
In the Gospel, the Pharisees were too quick to point out that the disciples violated the Sabbath law. The Gospel asserts that Jesus is the master of the Sabbath. With the bravest of hearts, Jesus always preferred the welfare of people to a rigid and unreasonable following of laws.
Jesus radically kept the law by invoking the spirit behind the law and not by adhering strictly to the letters of the law.
Thus, what makes us truly courageous is our capacity to listen to the dictate of our conscience in responding positively to the needs of others regardless of what the letters of the law dictate.
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