1 SAMUEL 18: 6 – 9; 19: 1 – 7
In those days: As they were coming home, when David returned from slaying the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with timbrels, with songs of joy, and with instruments of music. And the women sang to one another as they made merry, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him; he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on. And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you; therefore take heed to yourself in the morning, stay in a secret place and hide yourself, and I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; and if I learn anything I will tell you.” And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David; because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; for he took his life in his hand and he slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?” And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 56: 2 – 3, 9 – 13 (R.) 5b
R/. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
In God I trust; I shall not fear.
Have mercy on me, O God, for people assail me;
they fight me all day long and oppress me.
My foes assail me all day long:
many fight proudly against me. R.
You have kept an account of my wanderings;
you have placed my tears in your flask;
are they not recorded in your book?
Then my foes will turn back
on the day when I call to you. R.
This I know, that God is on my side.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord whose word I praise. R.
In God I trust; I shall not fear.
What can man do to me?
I am bound by the vows I have made you.
O God, I will offer you praise. R.
2 Timothy 1: 10
Alleluia. Our Saviour Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. Alleluia.
MARK 3: 7 – 12
At that time: Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him; for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Trusting in the Authority of the Church
January 20, 2022
And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known. (Mark 3:12)
In this passage, Jesus rebukes the unclean spirits and commands that they refrain from making Him known to others. Why does He do this?
In this passage, Jesus commands the unclean spirits to remain silent because their testimony to the truth of who Jesus is cannot be trusted. They cannot be trusted. The key thing to understand here is that the demons often deceive others by speaking some truth in a slightly erroneous way. They mix the truth with error. Therefore, they are not worthy of speaking any truth about Jesus.
This should give us insight into the proclamation of the Gospel in general. There are many whom we hear preach the Gospel, but not everything we hear or read is fully trustworthy. There are countless opinions, advice givers, and preachers in our world today. Sometimes the preacher will say something quite true but then will knowingly or unknowingly mix that truth with small errors. This does great damage and leads many astray.
So the first thing we should take from this passage is that we must always listen carefully to what is preached and try to discern whether or not what is said is fully in union with what Jesus has revealed. This is the main reason we should always rely upon the preaching of Jesus as it is revealed through our Church. Jesus guarantees that His truth is spoken through His Church. Therefore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the lives of the saints, and the wisdom of the teaching authority of the Magisterium must always be used as a basis for all we listen to and preach to others.
Reflect, today, upon how completely you trust our Church. Sure, our Church is filled with sinners; we are all sinners. But our Church is also filled with the fullness of the truth and you must enter into a deep trust of all that Jesus has and continues to reveal to you through His Church. Offer a prayer of gratitude this day for the teaching authority of the Church and recommit yourself to a full acceptance of that authority.
My Lord of all Truth, I thank You for the gift of Your Church. Today, I especially thank You for the gift of the clear and authoritative teaching that comes to me through the Church. May I always trust in this authority and offer a full submission of my mind and will to all that You have revealed, especially through our Holy Father and the saints. Jesus, I trust in You.