Jan 20 – 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2

“Trust the Lord’s Word in complete obedience and be open to the Ways of God”

(Based on 1 Sam 15:16-23 and Mk 2:18-22)

A popular legend is told of a certain king who needed a faithful servant.

Two men were candidates for the office.

The king took both at fixed wages, and his first order was to fill a cane basket with water from a neighboring well…

… saying that he would come in the evening and see their work.

After putting in one or two basketfuls, one man said:

“What is the good of doing this useless work?

As soon as we put the water in one side, it runs out the other.”

The other however, answered:

“But we have our wages, haven’t we?

>> The use is the master’s business, not ours.”

“I am not going to do such fool’s work,” replied the other.

Throwing down his basket, he went away.

The other man continued until he had exhausted the well.

>> Looking down into it he saw something shining – a diamond ring.

“Now I see the use of pouring water into a basket,” he cried, “If the basket had brought up the ring before the well was emptied, it would have been found in the basket.

>> Our work was not useless!”

The obedient servant understood the importance of trusting in the word of the master…

… and he would reap the benefits of gaining the approval of the master!

Christians must believe that their Divine Master knows what is best, and obey His commands…

… and in due time, they will know and understand the worth of the Master’s Word!

Failure to obey the words and commands of the Lord will lead to our downfall…

… and this is highlighted in the First Reading of the Day (1 Sam 15:16-23) through the fall of King Saul.

The reading begins with Samuel reminding Saul of the innumerable favours and blessings He had received from the Lord.

>> “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel.” (1 Sam 15:17)

Saul was blessed with many blessings and protection from the Lord

>> And these favours therefore demanded a greater faithfulness from Saul!

Each favour from the Lord ought to be a reminder of our Sacred Duty to love Him more!

>> Each blessing from the Lord should be a sign of we being invited to be more faithful to Him!

Saul however, failed to display this obedience and faithfulness to the Lord.

God had commanded him not to retain any of the spoils of the battle that he was to have with the Amalekites…

… Saul would however, not fully obey the Lord in this matter – and would retain the best of the spoils that he got

>> “And the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” (1 Sam 15:18-19)

Even though Saul apparently had a good intention – to use these spoils as sacrifice to God…

… God was not pleased with him, because what God demands is “an obedient heart than the choicest sacrifice!”

>> “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to the voice of the Lord?

Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is no less a sin than divination, and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.” (1 Sam 15:22-23)

In the Gospel, we have the Pharisees and the Scribes who question Jesus on the aspect of fasting (Mk 2:18-22)

>> The Pharisees and Scribes were stuck on following their own ways of understanding the ways of God…

.. and failed to have an openness and docility to the Will of God!

Each of us are invited to allow the “New Wine of God’s Word” to be filled in the “new wineskin of our minds – in obedience and openness!”

>> We are also warned to not try to patch up the “old garment of our disobedience” with the “new garment of God’s Commandments and Instructions!”

Let us remember, “failure to obey the words and commands of the Lord will lead to our downfall!”

>> Let us always trust that our Divine Master knows what is best…

… and thus obeying His commands, may we be blessed to discover the “shining ring” of God’s Love!

Let us today, seek the intercession of St Sebastian and St Fabian…

… and be inspired by their life of martyrdom, to offer our lives in complete obedience to the Will of God!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The devil doesn’t fear austerity…

… but holy obedience!”

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