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Thursday, January 19, 2006

From the First Reading: David and Goliath

How's this for high adventure?

 'But David answered the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have dared to insult. Today the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I shall kill you; I will cut off your head, and this very day I will give your dead body and the bodies of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord gives the victory, for the Lord is lord of the battle and he will deliver you into our power.’

No sooner had the Philistine started forward to confront David than David left the line of battle and ran to meet the Philistine. Putting his hand in his bag, he took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead; the stone penetrated his forehead and he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone and struck the Philistine down and killed him. David had no sword in his hand. Then David ran and, standing over the Philistine, seized his sword and drew it from the scabbard, and with this he killed him, cutting off his head.' 1 Samuel 17:32 - 51
I'm a fan of tales of adventure, heroic deeds, and yes, the supernatural. I loved the Lord of the Rings, I also loved the tales of Narnia -- in both cases, both in book and movie forms -- but such tales are not limited to works of fiction. The above is just one of many exciting tales that can be found in the Bible. After all, what work of man can ever beat the Word of God?

Other exciting narratives to read (and kids at a certain age will love them, too) are those of Samson, Judith and the Maccabean revolt. But don't stop there. There's also lots of heroism to be read about the Christian martyrs both in the New Testament, e.g., St. Stephen, and in Church history, e.g., St. Polycarp.

And in each and every victory, it is the right arm of the God of Israel who strikes the blow. The same God whose constant protection is upon us who call upon his mighty name.

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