Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1st Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 11-01-18

1 Sam 4:1-11 / Mark 1:40-45

Whenever we have the luxury of a quiet moment to think and reflect about life, then we may be able to come to this realization.

We may be able to see that there is a purpose for the events that take place in our lives. There are no coincidences. There is a reason for everything.

In spiritual terms, there is God's plan and purpose for the events and situations that happen in life.

In the 1st reading, we hear that the Israelites had lost an earlier battle with the Philistines, with four thousand of their army killed. They then asked this question : Why has the Lord allowed us to be defeated today by the Philistines?

They then embarked on this drastic action of bringing in the Ark of the Lord to accompany them in battle. Obviously their intentions were far from spiritual or noble.

Because if they had faced the first question that they asked earlier, they would have come to realize why they were defeated in battle.

In the Old Testament, every misfortune, tragedy or defeat points to a problem or a crisis. The word "crisis" comes from the Greek krisis which means "turning point in a disease" (used as such by Hippocrates and Galen)

When understood in that sense, then the defeat was an opportunity for Israel to awaken from their spiritual decay and corruption and turn back to God in repentance.

In bringing the Ark of the Lord to battle, they created another greater disaster for themselves.

Similarly, to be afflicted with leprosy is a great tragedy. Especially in Biblical times, it means corruptible disfigurement as well as permanent expulsion and isolation.

Because leprosy was seen as not only as a communicable physical affliction, it was also a sign of spiritual corruption.

So it actually took a great deal from the leper to come before Jesus and ask for healing. The disease which was a crisis for him, became a turning point in his life as he turned to the Lord.

So every trouble, big or small, every disaster or tragedy, every crisis does not just happen without a reason. All that happens happen within the plan of God ; all that happens are in the hand of God.

God's will is for us to turn back to Him. Even if it means that Jesus, His only Son, had to die a tragic and humiliating death on the cross. That is what God will go through in order for us to turn back to Him.

If we realize this, then it is not just a coincidence or that it just happens. Let us give thanks to God for all that happened and will happen.