Daily Bible Reading - January 31, 2024

Daily Bible Reading - January 31, 2024
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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

4th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Psalter: Week 4 / (White)

St. John Bosco, priest

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 32: 1-2, 5, 6, 7: Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 24: 2, 9-17

The king said to Joab and the commanders of the army who were with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and count the people that I may know how many they are.”

Joab gave the total count of the people to the king: eight hundred thousand sword-wielding warriors in Israel and five hundred thousand men in Judah.

But after he had the people counted, David felt remorse and said to Yahweh, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done, but now, O Yahweh, I ask you to forgive my sin for I have acted foolishly.”

The following day, before David awoke, Yahweh’s word had come to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, “Go, and give David this message: I offer you three things and I will let one of them befall you according to your own choice.” So Gad went to David and asked him, “Do you want three years of famine in your land? Or do you want to be pursued for three months by your foes while you flee from them? Or do you want three days’ pestilence in your land? Now, think and decide what answer I shall give him who sent me.”

David answered Gad, “I am greatly troubled. Let me fall into the hands of Yahweh whose mercy is abundant; but let me not fall into human hands.”

So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel from morning until the appointed time, causing the death of seventy thousand men from Dan to Beersheba. When the angel stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh would punish no more and said to the angel who was causing destruction among the people, “It is enough, hold back your hand.” The angel of Yahweh was already at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite.

When David saw the angel striking the people, he spoke to Yahweh and said, “I have sinned and acted wickedly, but these are only the sheep; what have they done? Let your hand strike me and my father’s family.”

Gospel: Mk 6: 1-6

Leaving that place, Jesus returned to his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and most of those who heard him were astonished. But they said, “How did this come to him?

What kind of wisdom has been given to him, that he also performs such miracles? Who is he but the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?” So they took offense at him.

And Jesus said to them, “Prophets are despised only in their own country, among their relatives, and in their own family.” And he could work no miracles there, but only healed a few sick people, by laying his hands on them. Jesus himself was astounded at their unbelief.

REFLECTION:

“Prejudices”

Perhaps, we have already heard the statement that says familiarity often breeds contempt. This is because when we are already familiar with something, the instinctive tendency is to presume right away that we already know everything about it.

Consequently, we may be locked up with our own biases. Moreover, the prejudices that we have against anyone for example can hinder us to allow more spaces for genuine encounter. We may become more judgmental while the challenge is to be more open.

We are called to create occasions for encounters leading to the deepening of our knowledge of the other in order to overcome biases stifling the growth of relationship. The people’s encounter with Jesus, in the today’s Gospel, should have made them longing to know more of Jesus.

However, their own prejudices robbed them of the opportunity to grow more of their knowledge of Jesus and of Jesus’ authority. They thought they already knew Jesus very well. But because of their lack of faith, reinforced by their own biases against Jesus, they took offense at him.

As we continue our faith journey, may we let go of whatever hinders us to know Jesus more and recognize his authority over us.

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