A reading from the first book of Samuel. 17: 32-33, 37, 40-51
David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone.
avid said to Saul, 'Let no one lose heart on his account; your servant will go and fight this Philistine'. But Saul answered David, 'You cannot go and fight the Philistine, you are only a boy and he has been a warrior from his youth'. The Lord who rescued me from the claws of lion and bear' David said 'will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.' Then Saul said to David, 'Go, and the Lord be with you!'
He took his staff in his hand, picked five smooth stones from the river bed, put them in his shepherd's bag, in his pouch, and with his sling in his hand he went to meet the Philistine. The Philistine, his shield-bearer in front of him, came nearer and nearer to David; and the Philistine looked at David, and what he saw filled him with scorn, because David was only a youth, a boy of fresh complexion and pleasant bearing. The Philistine said to him, 'Am I a dog for you to come against me with sticks?' And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, 'Come over here and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field'. But David answered the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Sabaoth, the God of the armies of Israel that you have dared to insult. Today the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I shall kill you; I will cut off your head, and this very day I will give your dead body and the bodies of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord gives the victory, for the Lord is lord of the battle and he will deliver you into our power.'
No sooner had the Philistine started forward to confront David than David left the line of battle and ran to meet the Philistine. Putting his hand in his bag, he took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead; the stone penetrated his forehead and he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone and struck the Philistine down and killed him. David had no sword in his hand. Then David ran and, standing over the Philistine, seized his sword and drew it from the scabbard, and with this he killed him, cutting off his head. The Philistines saw that their champion was dead and took to flight.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 143
Response Blessed be the Lord, my rock.
1. Blessed be the Lord, my rock
who trains my arms for battle,
who prepares my hands for war. Response
2. He is my love, my fortress;
he is my stronghold, my saviour,
my shield, my place of refuge.
He brings peoples under my rule. Response
3. To you, 0 God, will I sing a new song;
I will play on the ten-stringed lute
to you who give kings their victory,
who set David your servant free. Response
Heb 4: 12
The word of God is something alive and active:
it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts.
or Mt 4: 23
Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom
and cured all kinds of sickness among the people.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 3:1-6
Is it against the law on the sabbath day to save life?
esus went again into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, 'Stand up out in the middle!' Then he said to them, 'Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?' But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand'. He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Wednesday Second Week in Ordinary Time
The clash between David and Goliath in the first reading is the quintessential conflict between weakness and power, with the weaker one triumphing over the more powerful one. We see a similar clash in today’s gospel reading. The Pharisees and the Herodians, who had great political power in that culture, begin to discuss how to destroy Jesus, who had no such power. Even though they went on to put Jesus to death, it was Jesus, the powerless one, who triumphed over his powerful opponents, because God raised him from the dead and sent his Spirit upon his followers. David said before his conflict with Goliath, ‘the Lord will rescue me’, and it was the Lord who rescued Jesus from his enemies. Both readings remind us that when we find ourselves up against impossible odds, the Lord is our greatest resource. Writing from prison with the possibility of execution facing him, Paul could say, nevertheless, ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me’. In our own lives, when our resources seem no match for the challenge, we too can experience the Lord as ‘my stronghold, my saviour’,in the words of today’s responsorial psalm. A little later in Mark’s gospel, Jesus will say to his disciples, ‘for God, all things are possible’. ________________________________
The scripture readings are taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Gospel reflection comes from: Weekday Reflections for the Liturgical Year 2017/2018; ‘LET THE WORD OF GOD DWELL IN YOU' by Martin Hogan,
published by The Messenger c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/