1 Samuel 4:1-11
1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines; they encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek.2 The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the field of battle.
3 And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD put us to rout today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that he may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”
4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 5 When the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded.
6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the LORD had come to the camp,
7 the Philistines were afraid; for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness.
9 Take courage, and acquit yourselves like men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; acquit yourselves like men and fight.”
10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home; and there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.11 And the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
40 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.”
42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.43 And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.”
45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
THE FIRST READING recall the story of Samuels decision to employ the Ark of the covenant with the hope of defeating the Philistines, but alas, the Philistines overpowered the Israelites and captured the Ark of the covenant leaving the Israelites a defeated nation without their prized Sacred treasure.
Eli previously showed contempt for the offerings that was made to God such that he gave “more honor to his two sons” than to God! To be sure, Eli’s nonchalant response that God must “do what seems good to him” (1Sam 3:18) in response to a warning that he and his son’s will be punished, was a slap in the face of God and elicited God’s anger that led to the humiliation of the Israelites.
THE GOSPEL READING: A leper reached out to Christ with the expressed desire that he be healed from his leprous affliction. Apun healing the leper Jesus instructed that he go to the temple priest to fulfill the mosaic prescripts and make a sacrificial offering, with the injunction that he does not trumpet his miraculous healing!
The man obeyed Christs order to fulfill and comply with the law, save to say that his inflamed zeal precluded him from resisting his joy to proclaim the message of Christ Jesus.You and I can not remain silent once Jesus has touched and transformed our lives. If the truth be told, it would be akin to showing contempt to Christ if we elevate ourselves for gain at the expense of the Lord! We are explicitly called to be the voices, hands and feet of Christ, mandated to trumpet the good news without fear or favor!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 44:10-11,14-15,24-25
10 Thou hast made us turn back from the foe; and our enemies have gotten spoil.11 Thou hast made us like sheep for slaughter, and hast scattered us among the nations.
14 Thou hast made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples.15 All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face,24 Why dost thou hide thy face? Why dost thou forget our affliction and oppression?25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our body cleaves to the ground.
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER
Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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