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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 30.01.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 30.01.24

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2ND SAMUEL 18: 9 – 10, 14b, 24 – 25a, 30 – 19: 3

In those days: Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding upon his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” And Joab took three darts in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom. Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man running alone. And the watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there are tidings in his mouth.” And the king said, “Turn aside, and stand here.” So he turned aside, and stood still. And behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, “Good tidings for my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from the power of all who rose up against you.” The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be like that young man.” And the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he wept, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!  Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people; for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 86: 1 – 2, 3 – 4, 5 – 6 (R.) 1a

R/. Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me.

Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my soul, for I am faithful;
save the servant who trusts in you, my God. R/.

Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I cry to you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for I lift up my soul to you, O Lord. R/.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of mercy to all who call to you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer,
and attend to my voice in supplication. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION 
Matthew 8: 17

Alleluia.
Christ took our infirmities and bore our diseases.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL       
“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
MARK 5: 21 – 43

At that time: When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, and begged him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately the haemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?”’ And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them,-“Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Fear Transformed by Faith
January 30, 2024

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” (Mark 5:35–36)

This short line is one worth pondering every day. “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” This statement can apply to many situations we experience throughout our lives. It is a command of love from our Lord and is a command that we all need to hear, especially when hardships come our way.

First, it should be noted that this was a grave situation in which extreme emotion and temptations to fear would be understandable. The father in this story had a young daughter at the point of death, and he came to beg Jesus to heal her. Jesus agreed. But while they were on their way, Jesus and the father received the heartbreaking news that the daughter had just died. As any parent would know, this news must have been incredibly difficult to hear. So begin by trying to understand the grief that this father was experiencing. Try to especially understand his grief at that moment as he heard this devastating news.

As you ponder his grief, try to also ponder the heart, thinking, emotions and words of Jesus. Jesus had no fear. He knew that this would end very well. But because He also had deep empathy and love for this grieving father, Jesus turned to him to give him hope. Hope in the midst of a very difficult and painful experience in life is hard to come by. When faced with grief, it is very tempting to give in to despair. Despair is a complete loss of hope. Despair keeps us from God and strips us of faith. But despair is always avoidable if we follow Jesus’ command of love. “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

What is it that tempts you to fear in life? What is it that tempts you to lose your hope? Perhaps you struggle with the death of a loved one, and you find it very difficult. Perhaps your grief comes from small sources and is only minor right now. The truth is that all of us will experience small temptations to lose hope every day. And most will also experience grave temptations at one time or another. For these reasons, we must all constantly listen to Jesus’ words and work to dispel every fear in life as we invite God to bestow upon us the gift of hope that comes from unwavering faith in His plan for our lives.

Reflect, today, upon any struggles you have with despair, fear or anxiety in life. As you do, know that all things are possible when you turn to God with faith. Faith does not necessarily remove the hardships of life; it does something even better. It transforms hardships so that you can endure them with grace, joy and supernatural hope. When this happens, everything in life has the potential to be used by God for our good. All we need to do is continually reject fear and “just have faith.”

PRAYER:
My compassionate Lord, You consoled this grieving father and instilled within him the gifts of faith and hope. Please also speak your command of love to me, calling me to trust in You no matter what I struggle with in life. May I always have faith in You and never fall into despair or fear. Jesus, I trust in You.

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