Missionary Weekly Reflection
Sunday, 22 March 2020
Lent Sunday Week IV
1Sam. 16:1b,6-7,10-13a; Ps. 23:1-3a,3b-4,5,6; Eph. 5:8-14; Joh. 9:1-41 (long) or Joh. 9:1,6-9,13-17,34-38 (short)
Samuel was once called “the Seer”, when the term “prophet” was uncommon. Why? Because, he was able to see what the ordinary people could not (1 Sam 9: 9, 11). So, he became the place where the people and the king asked about God’s will. However, this story shows that this famous “Seer” can also “see wrongly”. Prophet is also a human being! He must also “learn to see” appropriately, that is: learning to see and judge others with God’s criteria and perspectives.
God sent Samuel to appoint a new king, whom he did not know yet. Samuel left, relying on his experience. When choosing Saul as a king, God seemed to agree with his point of view. At that time, Saul was chosen because of his physical appearance: “a handsome young man, no Israelite has better looking than him. From his shoulder upward he is taller than any of the people” (1 Sam. 9: 2, 10: 23-24). During Saul election, Samuel was actively organizing the event. Like a director, he manipulated the stage. Saul who was “shoulder upward taller” was immediately eye-catched in the midst of the people. He was chosen because of his posture.
Now Samuel are using the same criteria to look for Saul’s successor. When he saw Eliab, the first born who was tall and handsome, Samuel was immediately confident: “surely, the Lord’s anointed is before Him”. But God directly corrected this Prophet: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” All of Jesse’s seven children who were presented, was not chosen. The previous criterion of the Prophet was not prevailed. God has His own criteria and perspective. He chose a king “after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). He chose David, the youngest and the not-counted. That is always the standard of God’s work and perspective: choosing the weak and the not-counted. Why? So that it is clearly proven that He is the one who works, not because of human achievement and greatness, which are usually easy to claim, shown and be proud of!
In this visual world, the seen things seem increasingly to be used as standard of measurement. We live in a world of casing and acting, where sensory satisfaction is put at first priority. Fashionable and stylish appearance determines self-esteem. We are busy with the out-looking, forgetting about the inside. We see and judge “what is before our eyes” only. Like Samuel: we are amazed and hooked up to past experiences, to old criteria and perspectives, concerning ourselves and others. God invites us to learn to “see” with a new way. See like the way He sees: “see the heart” and “with the heart”, instead of seeing the posture, appearance, wealth and any outer things. Seeing like Him means that we are demanded to see and choose the forgotten, the diminished and the neglected. This is not easy. We are more often “blind” rather than see. We really need Him, the Light of the World!
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
For the Catholics in China: May the Catholics in China endure the constancy of faith to Gospel and grow in unity. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Traditional market: May in the midst of modern malls outbreak, the traditional markets can still keep their existence and obtain their living right, so the small merchants can keep going on with their economic activities. We pray…
We present the Lent: to become the time of conducting training of justice for all the people in our Dioceses. We pray…