2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) : Thursday 20th January 2022

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St Sebastian martyr

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) : Thursday 20th January 2022

1 Sam. 18:6-9; 19:1-7; Ps. 55:2-3,9-11; 12-13;
Mk. 3:7-12 (Ps Wk II)

These days, in the first readings at Mass, we hear episodes from the life of the most famous king of Israel, David, Jesus’ great ancestor. Yesterday’s reading was about how David as a young man, persuaded King Saul to let him challenge the giant leader of the Philistines and killed him with a single slingshot.

Today we hear what happened afterwards. David and King Saul returned from the battle encounter, and David was showered with praise, singing and dancing in his honour. And that made Saul very jealous, resentful of David’s achievement and suspecting him of wanting to be king in his place. So jealous, he even wanted to kill David. The feelings, emotions, and relationships described in the story are very true to life and quite relevant to living a Christian life. Jealousy, envy, resentment and friendship are familiar experiences most of us have, at least sometimes in life.

Envy and jealousy are similar, though different. They make people feel uncomfortable, unhappy and somehow guilty. They’re dangerous emotions, likely to lead to more serious unloving behaviour. Envy is counted as one of the so-called seven capital (or “deadly”) sins because it can be the source of other sinful behaviour.

The healing of those jealousies and envy is the work of love, genuine friendship, care and respect. David and Saul were reconciled through the filial fidelity and deep friendship of Saul’s son Jonathan.

Lord, help us overcome the evil of jealousy.

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