Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
(I Samuel 3:1-10.19-20; Mark 1:29-39)
The first reading today takes place in the period of the judges of Israel. It is a time of frustration because the Israeli nation cannot get control of the land. Local peoples always threaten to take it back. The reading tells of Samuel, the judge and prophet, who will eventually anoint David king of all Israel. David will consolidate the land in the name of Israel and its God.
David’s reign over Israel will serve as a model for Jesus’ proclaiming the kingdom of God throughout the world. Jesus shows both the power and the will of God by curing diseases and casting out demons. In today’s gospel, still early in the story, Jesus expresses his intention to preach throughout Galilee. In time he will bring the message of the kingdom to Judea. After his death, his apostles will proclaim it throughout the earth. It is a kingdom of justice and peace or, better, eternal happiness.
The kingdom of God is not political. It does not vie with men and women to govern the commercial affairs of the people. Its rule runs deeper than that. The kingdom of God engages human freedom reorienting it from selfish concerns to love of God and neighbor. We freely submit to it because it will lead us from frustration to eternal happiness.