3rd Week in Ordinary Time
Psalter: Week 3
Ps 51:3–4, 5–6a, 6bcd–7, 10–11
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
1st Reading: 2 S 11:1–4a, 5–10a, 13–17
In the spring of that year, when kings usually set out to fight, David sent out Joab, his officers and all the Israelite troops. They slaughtered the Ammonites and at tacked Rabbah, while David remained in Jerusalem.
One afternoon, David got up from his siesta and took a walk on the roof of the royal house. From the rooftop, he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. David sent to inquire about the woman, and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah, the Hittite.” So David sent messengers to have her brought to him; and he had intercourse with her just after she had purified herself after her monthly period. Then she returned to her house.
As the woman saw she was with child, she sent word to David, “I am with child.”
David then sent a message to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came, David asked him about Joab, how the people were and how the war was proceeding. Then he told Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.”
Uriah left the palace while the king had a portion from his table sent to him. Uriah, however, did not go down to his house but slept by the door of the king’s palace with all the servants of his lord. David was told that Uriah did not go down to his house, and he said to him, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”
David invited him to table and he ate and drank until he was drunk. When evening fell, however, he went to lie down on his couch with the guards of his lord instead of going down to his house.
The next morning, David wrote Joab a letter to be taken by hand by Uriah, in which he said, “Place Uriah in the front row where the fighting is very fierce and then withdraw from him so that he may be struck down and die.” When Joab was attacking the city, he assigned Uriah to a place which he knew was being defended by strong warriors. And the defenders attacked the men of Joab. Some of David’s soldiers and officers were killed; Uriah the Hittite also died.
Gospel: Mk 4:26–34
Jesus also said, “In the kingdom of God it is like this: a man scatters seed upon the soil. Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The soil produces of itself; first, the blade; then, the ear; then the full grain in the ear. And when it is ripe for harvesting, they take the sickle for the cutting: the time for the harvest has come.”
Jesus also said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what shall we compare it? It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all the seeds scattered upon the soil. But once sown, it grows up and becomes the largest of the plants in the garden; and even grows branches so big, that the birds of the air can take shelter in its shade.”
Jesus used many such stories, in order to proclaim the word to them in a way that they would be able to understand. He would not teach them without parables; but privately, to his disciples, he explained everything.
Many things can’t simply be explained easily. They defy the logical sequence of how things unfold; their processes do not follow the natural order; they cannot be quantified and therefore, they are confounding. It is no wonder Jesus used symbolic stories to illustrate what the Kingdom of God is. For these stories invite us to reflect, think further and churn them in our heads until its multitude of meanings emerge and bring us into greater insight and learning. For God’s reign is not meant to be understood at once but to be discovered through time, slowly, painstakingly, with patience. It is after all worth the wait and the effort.
CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.
8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.: (02) 921-3984 • Fax: (02) 921-6205, 927-7429
Bookstore: (02) 924-6835
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]