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2nd Week, Friday: Reflection & Liturgy

1 Sam 24:3-21 / Mark 3:13-19

David spares Saul’s life: David respected Saul’s role as king.
We’ve all heard stories about people who have dropped out of the Church because a pastor treated them harshly. It’s understandable that an insensitive pastor might hurt us. But it’s unthinkable that we should use that hurt as the reason for discontinuing the practice of our faith.
It’s tantamount to leaping overboard because we don’t like one of the crew members on a ship. When difficulties arise with a pastor, we should recall David’s reasoning in today’s reading. David drew an important distinction between the person and the role a person has in life. Saul may have been a bad person, but he was, nonetheless, God’s chosen king.
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How do we handle a personal dislike for a pastor or a minister of God? Lord, help us keep our perspective—always.
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To cut a loaf of bread into slices, all that is needed is a sharp knife that is just long enough. We don't need a surgical knife for that, nor would we use a chain-saw. It would be ridiculous to do that - one is a wrong knife and the other would be an overkill.

But when the mind is distorted with crazy reasoning, then the result would be actions that are wrong or useless. So for king Saul to pick 3000 elite troops just to hunt down David and his rag-tag rebel group was really an overkill. But with his mind distorted and obsessed with killing David, king Saul just couldn't see how ridiculous and crazy his actions were. But for David and his few good men, they did what is right and just - they did not raise their hand against the Lord's anointed, although they could have done so.

In the gospel, Jesus appointed the Twelve, and they were to be His companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils. All Jesus needed was twelve men who were willing to do as they were told.

All Jesus needs is for us to be willing to do as He tells us. And when we do as Jesus tells us, then our minds won't be distorted with crazy reasoning, and we will only want to do what is right and just.
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Friday of 2nd Week: LITURGY

JESUS CHOSE HIS APOSTLES     

Introduction     
The greatness of David is shown in the act that he spares the life of Saul when the latter is pursuing David. David, though persecuted, wants to do no harm to the king, the Lord’s anointed.   Jesus summons those he wants to work with him. The Twelve, reminding us of the twelve tribes of Israel, were to be the leaders, his intimate companions, and they were to be the foundations, the pillars of his Church, except for Judas, the traitor. Today, he summons us all, but to some he gives special tasks in his Church. Yet, we all have the task of building up the Church.     

Opening Prayer     
Lord God, our Father, you let your Son, Jesus associate with him helpers   in carrying out his work   of bringing about a new world and a new humanity.   We thank you for the men and the women   you choose in the sacred history of your people   to guide and lead and inspire us.   We too wish to cooperate today   toward this new world, and so we ask:   Make us close companions of Jesus, inspire us through your Spirit   to cooperate with those who shepherd us, and lead us to your future of joy.   Grant this through Christ, our Lord.

Commentary     
Nothing seems more alien to the Christian spirit than violence; yet, today it seems to meet us at every turn. Innocent people are violated on the street and in their homes. It is offensive in many ways but certainly because the Christian ethic is clearly nonviolent.   It must be admitted that the Old Testament had a moral code that was in many ways different from our own. When the Israelites waged destructive war, it was often seen as part of God’s plan. But there are moments even there when human dignity comes strongly to the fore.   In today’s first reading, David, being pursued by the envious Saul, has an opportunity to kill the king. Urged on by his associates, David realizes that he has a matchless set of circumstances to dispatch the king. But he refuses to raise his hand against the anointed of the Lord. Such for him would be an act of sacrilege. So he spares the life of Saul, who then extols the magnanimity of David.   All of us at times become distraught in our personal relationships. But rather than strike out and hurt, we are called to withhold even the harsh word. Harshness, after all, is a form of violence. We remain opposed to the death penalty because it simply continues the violence of the crime’s perpetrator. There are limits to justice imposed by a basic respect for human dignity.   The twelve apostles, listed in today’s Gospel, were men of simple backgrounds, not illustrious by human standards. What was asked of them was faith and loyalty. Because of their positive response, in the main, they have been remembered through the ages. Our church is founded on the faith that they received and transmitted. For this reason, our faith is said to be apostolic.     

Points to Ponder     
Human dignity in our times  
Respect for authority  
Apostolic faith     

Intercessions   
  – That the pope, Peter’s successor, may be our rock of faith, our model of healing and mercy, and thus the sign of unity in the Church, we pray: 
 – That our apostles today, our bishops, may exercise their authority as a service for community building, we pray: 
 – That missionaries may discover all the good there is in the hearts and minds of people and their culture, to heal, ennoble and perfect them in Christ, we pray:  
 
 Prayer over the Gifts     
God, our Shepherd, with bread and wine we celebrate   that your people are the body of Christ   which you wish to nourish   with the body and blood of your Son.   Sanctify us and accept our offering, which we join to that of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.     

Prayer after Communion     
Father, with your whole Church, we give you thanks   for entrusting to us the Good News of Christ   and strengthening us with his body.   May the whole People of God, which you have called to life   spread the Good News of Jesus, and give you all praise and glory   for all the love you have shown us, in Jesus Christ, our Lord.   
  
Blessing     

In his lifetime, Jesus chose the Twelve Apostles. All along history he continued to choose many to do his work. His work has to continue, and today he calls many to be our leaders and guides. May we fully cooperate with them, with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.