Jan 21 (2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2)

“Move towards a spirituality of the heart – seeing the way, God looks at people and the world!”

(Based on 1 Sam 16:1-13 and Mk 2:23-28)

A very popular story is said of a speaker who started off his seminar by holding up a $20 note.

He asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

Hands started going up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”

>> He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

>> Still the hands were up in the air.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?”

>> And he dropped it on the ground and got it more crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?”

The hands still continued to go up!

The worth of the money is not in the external aspect…

… but in the internal value!

So much more is the value of a human person…

… whose value is measured by the heart!

God gives this mighty message through the First Reading of the Day (1 Sam 16:1-13) when He reminds Samuel:

“For the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7b)

The passage is about Prophet Samuel being asked by the Lord to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the successor king to Saul.

Samuel learns an important principle that reigns in the heart of God: External appearances can be deceptive; the real worth of a person is in the value of his heart!

>> “For My Thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My Ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways and My Thoughts than your thoughts” (Is 55:8-9)

God values the love and commitment that a person has in the heart, than at just the external appearances.

>> “… only You know what is in every human heart!” (1 Kings 8:39)

Samuel was under the impression that one of the seven older sons of Jesse would be the future king.

But God always knows to spring a surprise!

>> He would place His Heart on the youngest lad, David – the shepherd boy

… “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27)

So often we get carried away by the external appearances.

>> But the Lord invites us to see the way He does: Look at the heart!

David was tending the sheep, when he was called by God

>> His family would have never had a thought like this

>> All the people had totally overlooked him and never considered him as even a “possibility!”

So often it can happen to us, that…

… people don’t mind us

… people overlook us and even put us down

… people make fun of us and we are disgraced often!

But in all such “unlucky” or “unfortunate” or “unfair” situations of life…

… trust in the Lord and know that He loves, accepts and appreciates us, the way we are!

Jesus in the Gospel (Lk 2:23-28) exhorts the people to have a “heart spirituality” than a mere “law fulfilling religion!”

>> Learn to obey God more, not because you are afraid, but because you love Him much!

Let us deepen our conviction that the value of a human person…

… is to be measured by the heart!

We seek today the intercession of St Agnes of Rome – the thirteen year old girl – who offered her life in martyrdom to the Lord

She knew the worth of her life consisted in the fact that she was deeply loved by the Lord…

… and that her faithfulness to the consecration to the Lord was her strength

And so with deep conviction, she would exclaim:

>> “You may stain your sword with my blood…

… but you will never profane my body that I have consecrated to Christ.”

>> “Christ made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue…

… I belong to Him whom the angels serve!”

May the life and words of St Agnes inspire us, as we seek to grow in our “heart spirituality”

… of understanding that we ought to defer judgment on people, by merely look at their externals – and instead, to leave space for the Mercy and Providence of God to reign in life!

… and of deepening the conviction that our worth is in the fact that God loves, accepts and appreciates us, the way we are!

God bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The King of Glory does not reward His servants according to the dignity of their office…

… but according to the humility and love with which they have exercised it!”

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