Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Psalm 23:1-6; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41)
Being Faithful and Obedient Servants of the Lord
Anoint him, for this is the one. (1 Samuel 16:12)
Even from the earliest days, there was a strict hierarchy in every Jewish family. The father was the head of the household, and his eldest son was the heir apparent. All the other sons had lesser places in the home and stood to inherit less than their older brother.
But Scripture tells us about some people who operated outside of this hierarchy and became powerful servants of God in their own right. For example, Deborah was a woman living in a man’s world (Judges 4–5). Jacob outshone his older brother, Esau (Genesis 27). And Gideon, the “most insignificant” in his father’s house, rose up to become a great warrior and liberator of his people (Judges 6–7). David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, fits right in that pattern.
By traditional standards, these limitations should have kept these people from rising up to positions of leadership in Israel. But God uses a different method of selection. He places an emphasis on how a person thinks and acts, not on that person’s place in the family or society. As he told Samuel, he looks at the heart, not the appearance.
Even today, God is looking for people with pure hearts, people who will be faithful and obedient. He is looking for people who are willing to be formed by him. King Saul, David’s predecessor, had turned away from God, but in David, God found a man with a soft heart and a willing spirit.
God isn’t looking for the smartest, the wealthiest, the most beautiful, or the flashiest person. He is looking for people who are committed to him and who strive to model their lives after his teachings.
We are God’s anointed ones. He has blessed us and filled us with his grace. May we rise up today and tell the Lord that we want to serve him and honor him with our lives.
“Lord, give me the desire to follow you and the strength to help build your Church.”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the Mass readings and prayers, and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Questions for Reflection/Group Discussion
- In the first reading, we are told that “the Lord looks into the heart” but “man sees the appearance.” How often do you judge a man’s heart by appearances? What specific steps can you take to adopt a more godly perspective of others?
- In the familiar Psalm 23, we read that the Lord “refreshes my soul.” What does that mean to you? Have there been times in your life when you have actually experienced the Lord’s refreshment? When? How can you better approach prayer and the Eucharist with an expectant faith that you will experience the Lord’s refreshment?
- The letter to the Ephesians tells us to expose the “fruitless works of darkness” so that “Christ will give you light.” The best place for this to happen is in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. What steps can you take to have a thoughtful and prayerful reception of this Sacrament?
- The Gospel story, in addition to being a story of a miraculous healing of a blind man, is also a story of conversion, i.e., the healing of spiritual blindness. The blind man went from saying, “I don’t know” to the initial questions about Jesus to “One thing I know, I was blind but now I see.” And finally, “Lord, I believe” and then “he worshiped him.” How would you describe your own journey of conversion, in light of this story?
- In the meditation, we hear these words: “Even today, God is looking for people with pure hearts, people who will be faithful and obedient. He is looking for people who are willing to be formed by him.” As you continue your Lenten journey, what steps are you taking to allow the Lord to form you into a “faithful and obedient” servant? What impact are they having?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to be a “faithful and obedient” servant who can be used by him to “help build his Church.” Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.