Read 2 Samuel 5:1-7,10, Ps. 89:20-22,25-26, Mark 3:22-30

“So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty when he began to reign and reigned forty years.” (2 Samuel 5:3-4)

David’s rise to the throne is a story of determination, hard work, and righteousness. As a little boy, David was anointed by Samuel, but it wasn’t until he was thirty that he became substantive King of Israel. David did not go to sleep, hoping that with the anointing he received, everything would magically fall into place. Here are some lessons in today’s readings:

1. Anointing Without Sweat is Failure: As the saying goes: “Pray as if everything depends on God, but work as if everything depends on you.” God blesses the labour of our hands; He does not provide food straight from the sky. You may lead a horse to a river but cannot force it to drink water. Anointing leads us to the river, but God does not force us to drink. There is nothing wrong with spending long hours in prayer, but something is wrong if we do nothing afterwards.

2. Be Patient: Learn to be patient. Whatever belongs to you must surely come to you. David was never eager for the throne. When the news of Saul’s death was brought to him, David wept and fasted till evening that day. He even composed a song of lamentation for Saul and his friend Jonathan. David did not rush to wear the crown. He waited until the elders of Israel came to him at Hebron to request that he become the King of Israel.

3. Power Comes From God: Getting into a particular office (or leadership position) is just the beginning. To succeed, you must be connected to a Divine Source of energy. Our first reading today concludes with this statement: “And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.” Initially, the inhabitants of Jerusalem boasted that David would not take the city, but then David succeeded against them because God was on his side. If God is not with you, you cannot succeed in leading another human being, not to mention a large group of people.

4. Dealing with Criticism: Just as the inhabitants of Jerusalem were hostile to David, some people hated Jesus. It is said that to kill a dog, give it a bad name. Out of their hatred of Jesus, they spread false rumours about Him, accusing Jesus of being a prince of Beelzebub. Jesus pointed out the error in their thinking, showing that if the devil were to cast out the devil, his kingdom would cease to exist. Do not be shaken by criticism if your conscience is. Understand that it is just a mind game, a ploy devised to distract you from achieving your goals.  We cannot stop people from speaking ills about us. However, we can always control how we react to such negative comments.

5. Mind Your Tongue: In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus noted: “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” Before criticising anyone, endeavour to verify your facts. There is nothing to gain by destroying other people’s reputations just for fun. Do not be a rumour-monger.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, grant that I may never lose my connection to you. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 3 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 2 Samuel 5:1-7,10, Ps. 89:20-22,25-26, Mark 3:22-30).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu