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Browsing Reflections Archive

January 28, 2022

Daily Reflection for Friday, January 28 2022
 

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012822.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17
Responsorial: Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6a, 6bcd-7, 10-11
Gospel: Mark 4:26-34

Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.”    Responsorial Psalm

The shepherd becomes a predator. When David was a young man, he protected his father’s sheep…risking his life to fight off predators looking for a meal. In sharp contrast, today’s reading shows David preying on those he was responsible for protecting: stripping away Bathsheba’s fidelity to her husband, attempting to undermine Uriah’s personal integrity, making Joab an accessory to murder, and eventually taking Uriah’s life. How did he go from a selfless protector of sheep to a narcissistic consumer of the people that God had put under his protection?

I expect that after David became a king, people began treating him very differently. He probably got used to having anything he wanted, and the distinction between objects and people started to become blurred in his mind. Soon he was not just a consumer of things but was fast becoming a consumer of people.

Interestingly, in 2 Samuel 12:1-14, Nathan the prophet appealed to David’s conscience through a story about, of all things, a stolen sheep. I wonder if the story helped David remember the self-sacrificing shepherd he was in his youth and to realize how far he had strayed from the shepherd he once was. By that time, however, the enormity of what David had done couldn’t be fixed. He destroyed so much that was good and beautiful by his utter selfishness.

It is easy to judge David, but in truth, I can be very much like him. Like him, I’m a king because of my baptism. Like him, I’m a consumer who doesn’t want for very much from a material standpoint. And like him, I can find myself becoming a consumer of people at times…thinking about what I want instead of seeing the child of God in front of me. I see that rise up in myself when I don’t get the level of “customer service” I think I’m entitled to--I’m on hold for an hour before the helpline person answers, I’m in line 45 minutes before I reach the checkout person, I need napkins and I haven’t seen the waiter for 25 minutes.

I pray that God will give me a shepherd’s heart instead of a heart focused on my own wants and pain. A heart that, whether I know someone for five minutes or for a lifetime, will let them know they are loved and cared for. A heart that reflects the Good Shepherd.

Grace and Peace to you,
Gerry Randall

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