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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

1 Sm 4: 1-11

Ps 44: 10-11. 14-15. 24-25

Gospel MK 1:40-45


A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was  Impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.


God in a Tabernacle

 



Today’s first reading demands our special attention and reflection. As usual army of Israel was engaged in a battle with their neighboring nation of Philistines. They had a fierce initial encounter in which almost four thousand Israelite soldiers were slain. Gloom and anguish fell on the Israelite camp. The elders got together in wonder how and why Israel, the invincible Yahweh’s chosen people, who are ever supported by the mighty hands of the God of armed forces, were so severely thrashed. It was unthinkable for them to be defeated by a pagan army that worships demons. It was indeed a humiliation for Yahweh too. To teach them a lesson they decided to bring Yahweh himself to the forefront.



After the failed attempt of the Israelites at Mount Sinai to give a shape and face to their God in the form of a “golden bull” Moses conceded to their craving to have symbolic representation of Yahweh, by allowing them to build the “Ark of the Covenant” in which the Ten Commandments were placed. Ever since, like little children carrying around their toys and dolls, the people of Israel used to carry around their “Divine Toy” wherever they went and guarded it with utmost care and reverence. Though the people of Israel could not capture Yahweh in the form of an idol, they finally managed to capture him in a cage – the tabernacle. A God in tabernacle has a great advantage – people can lock Him up and bring Him out whenever they need Him to save them or defend them or lead them or when they find some free time to spend with Him. God should not be always around. People need privacy. God should not unnecessarily intervene in their day-to-day affairs! That is why one day is specially set apart and dedicated totally to His service!



The Ark was brought to the battle field and there was great jubilation and excitement among the Israelite army. The battle resumed in great enthusiasm and valor. However, by the end of the day the Israelite army was totally destroyed with a horrific casualty of thirty thousand dead and the Ark of the Covenant being captured and taken away by the Philistines. This is a good lesson to all those who trust in their toy Gods and believe that they twist the hands of God to achieve their goals. For many religious people God is but a sacred cow, which they feed with prayers and praises. Prophet Elijah too expected to see God in the tempest, earthquakes and fire but Yahweh was not there in any of them. Until he descended into the Hades of nada (emptiness) and purged himself of his inflated ego and got rid of his idolatrous beliefs; Yahweh refused to “appear” before him. Then in the mysterious “sound of sheer silence” the divine Guru whispered into the ears of his super-zealous disciple the unheard melodies of divine mercy. The message of the day: God is not a puppet or a puppy for us to take him for a ride!


Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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