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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Thursday 2nd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Sam 18:6-9; 19:1-7): When David and Saul approached (on David’s return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums. The women played and sang: «Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands». Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: «They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship». And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David. Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants.

But Saul’s son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, told him: «My father Saul is trying to kill you. Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning; get out of sight and remain in hiding. I, however, will go out and stand beside my father in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you. If I learn anything, I will let you know». Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him: «Let not your majesty sin against his servant David, for he has committed no offense against you, but has helped you very much by his deeds. When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel through him, you were glad to see it. Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause?».

Saul heeded Jonathan’s plea and swore, «As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed». So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.
Responsorial Psalm: 55
R/. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
Have mercy on me, O God, for men trample upon me; all the day they press their attack against me. My adversaries trample upon me all the day; yes, many fight against me.

My wanderings you have counted; my tears are stored in your flask; are they not recorded in your book? Then do my enemies turn back, when I call upon you.

Now I know that God is with me. In God, in whose promise I glory, in God I trust without fear; what can flesh do against me?

I am bound, O God, by vows to you; your thank offerings I will fulfill. For you have rescued me from death, my feet, too, from stumbling; that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Tim 1:10): Alleluia. Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 3,7-12): Jesus and His disciples withdrew to the lakeside and a large crowd from Galilee followed Him. A great number of people also came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan and from the region of Tyre and Sidon, for they had heard of all that He was doing. Because of the crowd, Jesus told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him, to prevent the people from crushing Him. He healed so many that all who had diseases kept pressing towards Him to touch Him. Even the people who had evil spirits, whenever they saw Him, would fall down before Him and cry out, «You are the Son of God». But He warned them sternly not to tell anyone who he was.

«A great number of people also came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan and from the region of Tyre and Sidon»

Fr. Melcior QUEROL i Solà
(Ribes de Freser, Girona, Spain)

Today, the baptism by John in the Jordan still recent, we should all remember the kind of conversion of our baptism. We have all been baptized into one Lord, into one only faith, «For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body» (1Co 12:13). Here we have the ideal of unity: to form a single body, to be a single unity in Christ, so that the world may believe.

In today's Gospel we see that «A large crowd from Galilee followed him» and also «a great number of people» coming from other places (cf. Mk 3:7-8) are surrounding the Lord. And He paid heed to all procuring, without exception, their good. We have to keep this in mind during the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Let us realize how, throughout centuries, we Christians have divided ourselves into Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and a long etc. of Christian confessions. A historic sin against one of the essential points of our Church: its unity.

But, let us face today's eclesial reality. Our bishopric's, our parish's, our Christian group's. Are we really one only thing? Is our type of unity really a motive for conversion of those away from the Church? «that all of them may be one, … so that the world may believe» (Jn 17:21), pleaded Jesus to the Father. This is our challenge. That pagans all over may see a group of believers relate one another, gathering by the Holy Spirit, under the Church of Christ: all the believers were one in heart and mind. (cf. Acts 4:32-34).

Let us remember that, as a fruit of the Eucharist, the unity of the Assembly is to manifest itself along with the union with Jesus of each one of us, as we are fed by the same Bread to be a one and only body. Therefore, what the sacraments stand for, and the grace therein instilled, demand from us gestures of communion towards all others. Our conversion is to the Trinity unit (which is a gift coming from Heaven) and our sanctified task cannot avert the gestures of communion, of understanding, of welcome and forgiveness towards our brothers.