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3rd Week, Monday: Reflections & Liturgy


2 Sam 5:1-7, 10 / Mark 3:22-30

David is anointed king: The Lord was with him.

J. S. Abbott wrote a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte. In it, “the little corporal” says: “I have so inspired men that they would die for me…. The lightning of my eye, my voice, a word from me, then the sacred fire was kindled in their hearts. do, indeed, possess the secret of this magical power that lifts the soul.” David, too, possessed a priceless charism that could lift people’s soul and inspire them to do remarkable things. David’s natural charism was greatly enhanced by grace. In the words of today’s reading, the “Lord God Almighty was with him.”

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How are we putting our gifts to work for God? “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift back to God.” Raphael Simon
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We all know this very useful advice: Think before you speak. Generally speaking, most of us do think before we speak. In fact, we have to think before words can come out of our mouths. The question is what are our thoughts. If we have kind thoughts, then our words will be kind. If we have bad thoughts, then our words will just follow suit. More so in a contest when the outcome is not that certain, it would be wise not to boast of strength or victory just yet.
In the 1st reading, the Jebusites defending Jerusalem taunted David by saying, "You will never get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off".

Those are very boastful and prideful words, especially when they were under siege. The Jebusites will have to suffer for the folly of their words.

In the gospel, the scribes used words that only exposed what was in their minds and hearts. Without understanding the truth of the matter, they made accusations against Jesus that were evils in themselves.

From today's readings, we get this lesson - Be kind and gentle. Always think before you speak because the words we choose can only be forgiven but not forgotten.

May we always speak to Jesus first so that we can taste our words before we speak them out to others.
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LITURGY

LED BY GOD´S GOOD SPIRIT 

Introduction 
When Saul was still alive, David had tried to win over the northern tribes to accept him as their king, but they did not dare. Now, after Saul’s death, they come to David and he is crowned king in their presence, to rule over all the tribes. It is strange and really sounds like ill will when the Scribes ascribe the good that Jesus does, especially that he drives out demons, to the power of Satan, the prince of demons. Should they not have recognized that God’s Spirit was working in Jesus? In messianic times, the Jews expected the Spirit of God to overcome the spirits of evil, and in Jesus, the good Spirit was visibly active. We too have to make our option between God’s Spirit and the spirits of evil that make us sin. If we hear the word of God and act accordingly, we let God’s Spirit overcome evil in and around us. 

Opening Prayer 
God our Father, you are the origin of all that is good. Let our heart not be a house divided between good and evil. Send us your good Spirit to enlighten and guide us, to give us joy and strength and to follow your Son wherever he leads us on the road of goodness and service. We ask you this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.

Commentary 
By either ancient or modern standards, David had a long reign as ruler of an entire country: thirty-three years. As today’s reading states, it was at an early stage that he captured Jerusalem, with the overthrow of the Jebusites, who held Zion, which became known as the city of David. As disappointing as Saul had been, David began his reign on a very positive note. As we look at the long list of monarchs who followed, we only regret that the note of quality was not maintained. The fact is that, overall, the kingship in Israel and Judah was a monumental failure. Most of the kings were guilty of corruption that wreaked havoc among the Hebrew people. Was it absolutism that caused the country’s moral disarray? As Lord Acton famously said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The breakdown in faithful Yahwism soon became eminently clear. There was the imitation of foreign courts, the importation of pagan brides, the introduction of pagan cult, and rampant commercialism. The major defeats that Israel experienced during the first millennium were explained in terms of religious infidelity and moral waywardness. Who can deny that in our times we need to return to our moral compass? Materialism, consumerism, moral indifference are all part of the modem landscape. The responsibilities of family life confront us at every turn. With courage we must put our hand to the plow and not look back. The Gospel today invites us again to ally ourselves with Christ and not with Satan. And once we grasp the good, let us be agents in bringing it to the world. 

Points to Ponder 
Civil authority and public morality 
Our alliance with Christ 
Seeking the common good. 

Intercessions 
– That all the Churches that believe in Christ may overcome their division and become one in the Lord, who brought them pardon and peace, we pray:
– That all those who are hardened by sin may be touched by the Spirit of the Lord to repent and to change their ways, we pray:
– That our communities may accept those who have erred, defend the weak and the victims of injustice and bear witness to the mercy of God, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Father, bread and wine are the simple signs whereby your Son makes himself present to the people you have chosen. Fill these offerings with your Spirit, that they may become your Son. Fill us with the same Holy Spirit, that he makes us the people that belongs to you and serves you. We ask this through Christ our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion 
God our Father, through your Holy Spirit, we have heard the words of your Son. Let them become, through the same Spirit words that set us afire with zeal for your kingdom and with love for one another. Let it be a fire that cannot be extinguished. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. 

Blessing 
A country or a family or a community that is divided cannot stand. We should all be led by the same Spirit. That does not mean that we all have to be the same like clones, for the Spirit is rich enough with his variety of gifts. May God pour out his good Spirit on us and bless us, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.