Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
(I Samuel 15:16-23; Mark 2:18-22)
A young couple is thinking of marriage. They live in a city away from where either grew up. As the date of their wedding is still undetermined, they decide to share an apartment. They realize that it will create more temptation to have sex than they will be able to resist, but they justify the plan by noting the money they will save will expedite the wedding date. Unfortunately, they are reasoning like Saul in the first reading today.
The king of Israel has allowed his men to take animals for booty in order to sacrifice them to God. Yes, they will probably eat some of the partially-burnt offering, but they could use the nourishment. It seems like a waste of good meat to exterminate the enemy’s entire flock. Yet this is exactly what God has commanded, and not without reason. Eating the enemy’s meat, taking their wives, appeasing their gods – all form a slippery slope which God wants His people to stay clear of.
God’s commands always have their logic although at times it is obscure to us. Why, for example, must we run a high risk of losing mother and child when a “therapeutic abortion” can at least save the mother’s life? It is a hard case that necessitates that everything possible is done to save both lives. But still we know that it is always wrong to do evil in order to produce the good.