Jan 18 (1 Sam 9:1-4, 17-19, 10:1 and Mk 2:13-17 – 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2, Cycle A)

“Be ready to meet the Lord even when ‘donkeys are lost or you are busy counting at the table!’

An old lady loved visiting antique shops.

One day while browsing one, she came across a beautiful old Singer-style sewing machine…

… the manual kind, mounted on a table with a foot pedal.

When she saw it she whispered a simple prayer: ‘God, I’d love something like that for my place.’

A couple of days later, as she was walking out her front door on her way to work when she saw a pile of junk by the roadside.

She stopped, stunned!

>> There in the rubbish stood an old Singer-style sewing machine…

… the manual kind, mounted on a table with a foot pedal.

On it hung a sign that said:

“In good condition— anyone can take.”

God is a God of surprises!

>> He visits us even in the most ordinary situations of life.

Are we open to meet and experience the Lord, in our everyday – simple and ordinary – situations of life?

The readings of the day present two people who encounter the Call of the Lord in their “routines of life!”

… Saul, who would become the first king of Israel

… Levi, who would become an apostle of Christ

The people of Israel had remained adamant and stubborn in their demand for a king…

… just like all other nations of the world (Cf. 1 Sam 8:19-20)

>> They would thus move away from the Kingship of the Lord – obstinate to follow their own wills

Yet, God doesn’t forsake them

>> He provides a king from among them – the Divine Wisdom of preparing the people to receive Christ as the Ultimate King

Saul is chosen in an ordinary and regular context of life.

The reading describes how Saul is sent by his father to search for “lost donkeys!”

>> “Now the asses of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the asses.” (1 Sam 9:3).

In the East, asses/donkeys are a valuable property – indispensable for farm-work and travelling.

>> They were valuable to their owners, since they were their mode of transportation.

>> They were even a symbol of peace and wealth (Esau sent to Jacob, his brother “twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys” – Gen 32:14 – in order to appease him)

As Saul moves from place to place, in search of “lost donkeys” he is encountered by Samuel, the prophet, who would be instructed to anoint Saul as the king of Israel.

>> ‘When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall rule over my people.” (1 Sam 3:17)

The Gospel of the Day (Mk 2:13-17) presents Jesus, who is sent by His Father, to search for “lost sheep” and “sick patients”!

>> “Jesus said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’ (Mk 2:17)

Levi was “busy at table counting taxes”…

… with his own worldly interests and concerns

… surrounded by people who hated tax-collectors like him, and looked down on him, in contempt and rejection

It is interesting to see…

… that even in a situation of “donkeys being lost”, God can intervene in human lives!

>> Even though Saul was only looking for “donkeys”, God was in search of Saul!

It is interesting to see…

… that even in a situation of “counting the taxes at table”, God can intervene in human lives!

>> Even though Levi was only looking for “taxes”, Jesus was in search of Levi!

Do we find ourselves in situations of “lost donkeys”…

… searching for wealth and means of comfort in life?

… searching for peace and satisfaction in life?

Do we find ourselves “busy at table counting taxes?”

… busy with many worldly concerns and worries?

… busy in being surrounded by people who reject and hate us?

Then let us know and understand that even in such ordinary situations of “lost donkeys” and being “busy at table counting taxes”…

… can become occasions when God wants to anoint us with His Oil of Graces and Gladness! (Cf. 1 Sam 10:1)

… can become moments when God wants to address you and tell you, “Follow me”! (Cf. Mk 2:14)

God is looking for you…

… even if you are not thinking much about Him!

>> Jesus wants you to follow Him closer…

… even if you are not much ready for it and busy with the affairs of the world!

Yes, God is a God of surprises!

>> He visits us even in the most ordinary situations of life.

Are we open to meet and experience the Lord, in our everyday – simple and ordinary – situations of life?

May the life of the Saint of the Day – St Margaret of Hungary – be an inspiration for all of us

>> Though she was a princess among other women of noble descent, she never refrained from performing the most menial tasks and hard labor…

… encountering the Lord in the “everyday routines of her life!”

May her words inspire us, “”Many of the people who look forward to a long life put off doing good works, since they think that they will have plenty of time before they die.

>> As for me, I prefer to be among those who consider that they have no time to lose if they wish to give God all the glory that they can before they die.”

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Learn to see God in the details of your life…

… for He is everywhere!”

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