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The Everyday Prayer


 
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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Chronicles 11, 10-25

These are David's principal champions who joined forces with him in his kingdom, with all Israel, to make him king in accordance with the word of Yahweh concerning Israel.

This is the roll of David's champions: Jashobeam son of Hachmoni, head of the Three; he it was who brandished his spear over three hundred men whom he had killed at one time.

Next, there was Eleazar son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three champions.

He was with David at Pas-Dammim when the Philistines mustered for battle there. There was a field full of barley there; and the people fled from the Philistines.

And they took their stand in the middle of the field, held it and cut down the Philistines; and Yahweh brought about a great victory.

Three members of the Thirty went down to David at the rock near the Cave of Adullam while a company of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of the Rephaim.

David was then in the stronghold and there was a Philistine garrison in Bethlehem.

Longingly, David said, 'If only someone would fetch me a drink of water from the well that stands by the gate at Bethlehem!'

At this the three champions, forcing their way through the Philistine camp, drew water from the well that stands by the gate of Bethlehem and, bringing it away, presented it to David. David, however, would not drink any of it, but poured it out as a libation to Yahweh.

'God preserve me', he said, 'from doing such a thing! Am I to drink these men's blood? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.' And so he would not drink. Such were the deeds of the three champions.

Abishai, brother of Joab, was leader of the Thirty. He it was who brandished his spear over three hundred men whom he had killed, winning himself a name among the Thirty.

He was a most illustrious member of the Thirty and became their captain, but he was not equal to the Three.

Benaiah son of Jehoiada from Kabzeel was the hero of many exploits; he it was who slaughtered two formidable Moabites and, one snowy day, climbed down and slaughtered the lion in the storage-well.

He also slaughtered an Egyptian, a man who was seven and a half feet tall. The Egyptian was armed with a spear in his hand like a weaver's beam, but he took him on with a staff, tore the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed the man with it.

Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada, winning him a name among the thirty champions.

He was a most illustrious member of the Thirty, but he was not equal to the Three. David put him in command of his bodyguard.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The eleventh chapter of the first book of Chronicles gives a list of the mighty warriors who accompany David on his ventures. The author of Chronicles wants to stress that the valorous warriors, who put themselves at David’s service, placed themselves within the salvific design that the Lord wants to bring to fruition through David’s works. They understood that it was crucial for their lives that they not remain alone with their strength and bravery, but rather, that they join God’s plan. This is an important lesson for anyone who wants to free him or herself from the slavery of the ego; that is, from thinking that life is only about focusing and caring for oneself. The Lord, with David, and even more with his Son Jesus who David prefigures, desires to include us in His plan of salvation that embraces all peoples. Sometimes those who call themselves Jesus’ disciples, including ourselves, think that Jesus wants to take away opportunities from our lives. On the contrary, Jesus wants to involve us in his designs for the world. We could say that God is much more ambitious for our lives than we may be for ourselves. This is why he asks us to look outward and to think big. Those mighty warriors participated in the establishment of David’s kingdom. And the author feels the need to narrate their exploits. He speaks of Jashobeam, who was the chief of the Three, and was capable of defeating three hundred people at one time. The author praises the warrior’s strength, but in truth he is victorious because God was with him: "for the Lord of hosts was with him." God’s help is also evident in the exploits of Benaiah who killed an Egyptian more than 6 feet tall. The details of this exploit recall the encounter between David and Goliath (1 Sam 17:4-51). And the willingness of the Thirty who go to Jerusalem, risking their lives, to draw water from a well close to Jerusalem and bring it back to David, their chief, simply because he wanted some, is very meaningful. They regard David as God’s envoy for His grand plan for salvation. On a related note, the words from the Letter to the Hebrews come to mind. He asks Christians of the community in Alexandria to "remember", that is, to be attentive and kind, to the leaders of the Community: "Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you" (13:7). This exhortation is all the more moving when we consider that some of these leaders were martyred because of the persecution against the community. What is clear, then, is that if we place what we do in God’s hands, the fruit we bear will be multiplied.


09/18/2012
Memory of the Mother of the Lord


Calendar of the week
NOV
27
Sunday, 27 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
NOV
28
Monday, 28 November
Memory of the Poor
NOV
29
Tuesday, 29 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
NOV
30
Wednesday, 30 November
Memory of the Apostles
DEC
1
Thursday, 1 December
Memory of the Church
DEC
2
Friday, 2 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
3
Saturday, 3 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday