1ST SAMUEL 24: 2 – 20
In those days: Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wild goats’ Rocks. And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’” Then David arose and stealthily cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe. And afterwards David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words, and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave, and went upon his way. Afterwards David also arose, and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and did obeisance. And David said to Saul, “why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your hurt’? Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave; and some bade me kill you, but I spread you. I said, ‘I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ See, my father, see, the skirt of your robe in my hand; for by the fact that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me upon you; but my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea! May the Lord therefore be judge, and give sentence between me and you, and see to it, and plead my cause, and deliver me from your hand.” When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.”
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 57: 2 – 4, 6, 11 (R.) 2a
R/. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.
Have mercy on me, God, have mercy,
For in you my soul has taken refuge.
In the shadow of your wings I take refuge,
Till the storms of destruction pass by. R/.
I call to you, God the Most High,
To God who provides for me.
May he send from heaven and save me,
And put to shame those who assail me.
May God send his loving mercy and faithfulness. R/.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
May your glory shine on earth!
For your mercy reaches to the heavens,
And your truth to the skies. R/.
2nd Corinthians 5: 19
God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
MARK 3: 13 – 19
At that time: Jesus went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Being Called Up the Mountain with Jesus
January 21, 2022
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. (Mark 3:13)
This Scripture passage reveals Jesus summoning His Apostles up the mountain so as to give them the commission to preach and to cast out demons in His name. One significant aspect of this Scripture passage is that Jesus summoned the Apostles “up the mountain.”
Everything Jesus did in life was filled with significance. This particular action displays great symbolic value. The commission of the Apostles to preach and to cast out demons only took place after they went up the mountain at Jesus’ invitation. Why did He do this only after calling His Apostles up a mountain?
A mountain is a symbol of our journey toward God. It’s an indication that we are to go up toward Him. And it reveals that we are only equipped to go forth and fulfill God’s will after we have first gone up to meet Him.
The “mountain” we are called to go up is first and foremost prayer. We are to daily go up to meet our Lord, seeking Him through a life of deep surrender. Jesus calls us to Himself where He waits for us so as to be alone with Him basking in His glorious presence.
Unless we go up that mountain with our Lord, we will be ill-equipped to fulfill His divine commission. We will be insufficiently prepared to bring His love and mercy to a world in need.
Reflect, today, upon the invitation Jesus offers you to follow Him up the mountain of prayer. Respond to that invitation so that you can then be sent forth by Him to fulfill His divine command of love.
My inviting Lord, I do accept Your gentle invitation to go up the mountain of faith and prayer. I desire to seek You out and to be with You. As I meet You in prayer, give me the grace I need to then go forth and fulfill Your divine will. Jesus, I trust in You.