January 17, 2018


January 17, 2018:  St. Anthony, Abbot

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below


For Psalm 144
  • 1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51  David/Saul:  “I can fight Goliath.” “No; you're only a youth.” “God will keep me safe.” “Go!”  David approached him with stones and sling.  To Philistine:  “I come in God's name; I'll cut off your head; all will learn of God.He killed him with sling, stone, and sword.
  • Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10  "Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!"  My refuge, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, shield, I'll praise you with lyre and song.
  • Mk 3:1-6  They watched to see whether Jesus would cure the man with a withered hand on the sabbath.  He asked the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good and save life on the sabbath?”  He told the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  After he restored it, the Pharisees planned to kill him.
  • Creighton:  In today's first reading, Young David, against Saul’s advice, confronts the Philistine ("Goliath") and slays him with one shot.  In the gospel, a conflict brews between Jesus and the Pharisees when Jesus, not swayed by their rigid interpretation of the law, heals the man with a withered hand on the Sabbath.  Both David and Jesus find the Lord in their daily challenges, paying attention to his voice over others.  David’s and Jesus' real victory is heeding God's voice.  God softens our hearts and opens our ears, eyes, and minds so we can see, hear, and think clearly. When we heed him, we fan the fire for life,  hope, trust, compassion, and peace.  Who/what helps me hear God?  What diminishes my ability to?
    David and Goliath/ Titian
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Lord of the giants":  We haven't killed any giants because we haven't had the faith, courage, and love to fight.  The army refused to fight the giant [Goliath]; then David told Saul to take courage:  "I am at your service to fight this Philistine."  But Saul answered, "You can't."  If we volunteer to fight, those who are afraid will put us down to justify their fear, but we must focus on the Lord.  David's response to Saul was: "The Lord will keep me safe," and to the giant's insults and threats he responded, "I come against you in the Lord's name."  David ended with, "The battle belongs to the Lord."  To kill, you must fight. To fight, fix your eyes on the Lord, not the giant, yourself, or anyone else.

    David with the head of Goliath/ Caravaggio
  • Passionist:  In today's gospel, Jesus wants to heal a man who finds himself in a situation where good needs to be done; the Pharisees, who see the situation as a chance for him to violate the Sabbath, also want him to, to accuse him.  But Jesus speaks out: “Isn't it lawful to do good and save life on the Sabbath?” Laws shouldn't get in the way of doing good.  If laws become obstacles to love, justice, and mercy, they need to be broken; it's wrong to make any law, practice, or tradition more important than mercy, justice, and love.  Jesus is angry because the Pharisees' rigidity prevents them from seeing what matters. In defying the Sabbath law to set somebody free, Jesus tells us about what it means to follow him.  We're called to be ministers of healing, life, mercy, and love.
    Christ heals the man with paralysed hand
    (Byzantine mosaic)
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Is it lawful... to save life or to kill?"  The scribes and Pharisees wanted to catch Jesus breaking the Sabbath to accuse him of breaking God's law; they were filled with contempt for him because they put their thoughts above God, ensnared in legalism.  Jesus points to God's intention for the Sabbath:  doing good and saving life.  Christians celebrate the Lord's Day to commemorate God's work of creation and redemption. May we take our sabbath rest seriously, honoring God and letting our love of God overflow to love of others....
  • Universalis:  Anthony, originator of the monastic life, gave his belongings to the poor, led a life of penitence, poverty, prayer, and work, suffering and overcoming temptation. Disciples gathered round him, attracted by his wisdom, moderation, and holiness.  He supported victims of persecution, helped Athanasius fight Arianism, and lived to be over 100.
Dress legend
  • White-with-red shirt:  White for St. Anthony memorial, red for Goliath's blood (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Jesus was grieved at the Pharisees' hardness of heart (gospel)
  • 'Lion' pin, 'bear' tie bar:  The Lord delivered me from the lion and the bear (1st reading)
  • 'Stone/rock' tie pin:  David selected five stones (1st reading); the Lord, my Rock (psalm)
  • 'Sling' tie bar:  David hurled stone at Philistine with a sling (1st reading)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  Philistine:  "Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?" (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Goliath's blood (1st reading)
  • 'Treble clef' tie bar:  God, I'll sing a new song to you (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "The Lord shall deliver you into my hand"; he put his hand into his bag to get a stone (1st reading); the Lord trains my hands for battle (psalm); "stretch out your hand" (gospel)

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