January 22, 2014 - Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10
Mark 3:1-6

Today’s reading is a real David and Goliath story. That might be a cliché, but here it applies literally. There is a reason that people are always comparing various events to this story: it is one of the most powerful themes in the human soul. That the just though weak can beat the unjust though strong is our dearest hope. In our world it seems as if the powers of chaos and darkness are always just about to take over.

The story is reflected in the Gospel today. Jesus is like David fighting against Goliath. He is one man fighting against a culture of corruption, against the selfishness of the human heart. It seems like a useless battle. True, since he is God he is the strongest. That would be important if he was trying to destroy or kill his enemy. He could simply choose it, and all humanity would be instantly destroyed, but since he is trying to save us he appears weak.

He appears weak in the same way that goodness appears weak. How can we convince people to be chaste when the alternative is such a strong temptation? How can we convince people to be good when it is so much easier and more pleasurable to be bad? We seem weak because we are proposing something which no one wants. Satan seems strong because he is telling people to do that very thing they want to do anyway.

This is how God, though all-powerful, is in the place of David, and Satan, though nothing in comparison, is in the place of Goliath. In every human soul, God stands there with five stones ready to do battle against an enemy better armed. In every human soul, including your own, including my own. In your soul there is an enemy, a sin, a temptation, that right now seems like Goliath: giant, insurmountable, unconquerable.

Do not be deceived! Look at your Goliath with the eyes of David. When David saw Goliath he did not think “No one can beat that man” and he did not think “This is hopeless.” He thought that he could beat Goliath with the help of God. Know most confidently that whatever giants are preventing you from being a saint can, with the help of God, be conquered as easily as David conquered Goliath.