Malvern Minute
Malvern Minute

Today’s Daily Reflection

From Mark Poletunow


Every day, Mark Poletunow, Malvern Retreat House’s President, takes time to reflect and pray about the daily reading. Take a minute to join him as he illuminates the scriptures.

 

January 17, 2018    Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people. Alleluia, alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the first Book of Samuel (17:32-33, 37, 40-51)

David spoke to Saul: "Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine." But Saul answered David, "You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth."

David continued: "The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine." Saul answered David, "Go! the LORD will be with you."

Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag. With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

With his shield bearer marching before him, the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David. When he had sized David up, and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, the Philistine held David in contempt. The Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?" Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods and said to him, "Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field." David answered him: "You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD's and he shall deliver you into our hands."

The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the battle line  in the direction of the Philistine. David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell prostrate on the ground. Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword. Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine's own sword which he drew from its sheath he dispatched him and cut off his head.

Reflect: You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts. Today’s first reading recounts the classic encounter between David and Goliath. It helps us to call to mind the countless battles that we face in life. Many times, we might feel that the situation before us is insurmountable. For all intents and purposes, Saul expresses what almost anyone would have said to David: "You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth."  David, the anointed one, speaks with the courage of the Lord: "The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine."  Somehow, Saul was convinced and gave his blessing: "Go! the LORD will be with you."  Although a youth; although a less than formidable opponent to the giant, battle proven champion Goliath, David walked into that battle with courage because he trusted in the Lord. Today’s scripture reminds us that no enemy can defeat us if we trust in the Lord. No matter what we face, our God is there to help us. He asks us to surrender to him. In this age of super-heroes, maybe we can relate to the image of God instilling us with super-human strength; but we can’t accomplish it alone. We need the Lord as our Rock, our Shield, our Deliverer to lead and guide us through the battle. Let us not be afraid. Take courage! And let us encourage one another to trust in the Lord and to fight the good fight – trusting in his power and mercy.

Questions: What are the battles that I am experiencing in my life right now? Do I look to the Lord for my strength? Am I surrendering myself into his care; trusting that he will take care of everything? How might I encourage others to trust the Lord in their own struggles or battles?

Pray: Loving God, my life is in your hands. I trust in you. Be my strength, my hope, my peace, my Deliverer.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!


ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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