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Wanting Less

First Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

The LORD said to Samuel:
“How long will you grieve for Saul,
whom I have rejected as king of Israel?
Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”
But Samuel replied:
“How can I go?
Saul will hear of it and kill me.”
To this the LORD answered:
“Take a heifer along and say,
‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’
Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do;
you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.”

Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him.
When he entered Bethlehem,
the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired,
“Is your visit peaceful, O seer?”
He replied:
“Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.
So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet.”
He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves
and invited them to the sacrifice.
As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought,
“Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
But the LORD said to Samuel:
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see,
because he sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.”
Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel,
who said, “The LORD has not chosen him.”
Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said,
“The LORD has not chosen this one either.”
In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
but Samuel said to Jesse,
“The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
Then Samuel asked Jesse,
“Are these all the sons you have?”
Jesse replied,
“There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said to Jesse,
“Send for him;
we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”
Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
and making a splendid appearance.
The LORD said,
“There–anoint him, for this is he!”
Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
anointed him in the midst of his brothers;
and from that day on, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.
When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 89:20, 21-22, 27-28

R. (21a) I have found David, my servant.
Once you spoke in a vision,
and to your faithful ones you said:
“On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth.”
R. I have found David, my servant.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R. I have found David, my servant.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
And I will make him the first-born,
highest of the kings of the earth.”
R. I have found David, my servant.

Gospel: Mark 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

NAB

jan 19

I have to come clean with you all.  This has been a tough few months for me. I am pretty good at just rolling with life, the ups and the downs, but I knew I was in trouble when I just couldn’t get these devotionals written for you.

I love Blessed is She. It is something that I believe really comes from the Lord. It is His project and He is granting me the privilege and the grace to work with Him to bring His word to the eyes and hearts of women around the word. But for the first time in a long time (like maybe ever?), I found myself reading His word and just being unable to delve into it.

So I let the Scripture sit and I just ignored it. Like for weeks. Not the best way to deal with responsibilities and commitments, I know. And I prayed. A little. Not as much as I should have. Mostly I just felt guilty about not writing. Then just as the deadline hit I finally buckled down and prayed harder. I locked myself in my room with my computer and headphones. I quieted my heart. And cleared away my own stress and grief and shed some tears. Lots of tears actually. And then I listened to Him.

The First Reading opens with “How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way…”.

I like to think that I am a faithful servant of our Lord, but so often I struggle to command my will to the will of our Lord. I want something different. I want my kids to behave all the time. I want my body to be healthy and pain-free all the time. I want my husband to read my mind. I want more than 24 hours in the day. I want my mom to call me more often. Gosh, I want an awful lot. And when I start putting it in writing it looks pretty ridiculous.

How long do we grieve for the things that don’t go our way? How much time and energy do we spend wishing, praying, and hoping for something that isn’t according to the Lord’s will?

What does the Lord want from me? That is what I should be asking each day when I wake up. How does the Lord want me to respond to the realities of the life I have been given? Do I work with His grace or do I fight for the selfish and prideful desires in my heart? With this New Year maybe we can all resolve today, right now, to be little more like Samuel—to let go of our grief, to let go of our skepticism, to listen to the Lord, and join Him in His banquet.

What can you let go of today so as to open your heart to the Lord?

photo by Little Flower Studios

MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here

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