January 13, 2022
St. Hilary
God’s Gifts Misused
…Israel was defeated… The ark of God was captured…
1 Samuel 4:10, 11

More than combat history, this reading is a bleak reminder of consequences when actions aren’t aligned with God’s will. Israel, wandering far from its mission and stuck in a cycle of defeat, lost countless soldiers. Following their own whims, elders sent for the sacred ark of the Lord that signified the presence of God. Attempting to manipulate outcomes for their own gain, Israel misused their treasure only to see it stolen.

Corruption and hardness of heart can separate us, too, from our Lord and his Blessed Sacrament, making us vulnerable to the enemy. Israel’s devastating lesson reminds us that God’s gifts are given for purposes far beyond our immediate desires. It may be tempting to run with our plans and expect God to follow. Yet real prayer requires patient, listening ears. Only then can we truly reverence the sacred and act in unison with his plan.

O Lord, help us align our prayers and actions with your perfect will.

- Kathleen Swartz McQuaig

1 Samuel 4:1-11 • Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 25-26 Mark 1:40-45


January 13, 2022 at 11:28 AM

Don't we all do that one time or another like the Israelites did in battle with the Philistines in the first reading? I did...holding onto my cross when I pray, putting an angel pin on my lapel, placing my Bible under my pillow/bed, burying the statue of St. Joseph in the backyard when I tried to sell my house, etc *** You know what I learned from God's Word? When I don't have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus, these items are just items becoming idols as the Israelites did in this battle! *** Listen to what God says in Isaiah 44:6-23 titled, "The Lord, not idols"...This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God...The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in human form, human form in all its glory, that it may dwell in a shrine...From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me! You are my god!”...They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand...Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant. I have made you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you...(read the whole Scripture passage for context) *** Colossains 2:18-19, "Do not allow yourselves to be condemned by anyone who claims to be superior because of special visions and who insists on false humility and the worship of angels. For no reason at all, such people are all puffed up by their human way of thinking and have stopped holding on to Christ, Who is the head of the body. Under Christ's control the whole body is nourished and held together by its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God wants it to grow." Amen! ******* Acts 17:24-25, 29-31, "The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything. Rather, He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else...Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man (God-man) He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him (Jesus) from the dead." That was why Israel lost thiry-four thousand soldiers in that battle :-( *** Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham https://youtu.be/hQqPOgjNQMU Amen!!!

January 13, 2022 at 10:37 AM


January 13, 2022 at 09:07 AM

Amen! Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for the Gospel today. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord Jesus Christ have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we as that you release your warrior angels and heavenly hosts. We decry and declare that they would take us off the enemies' radar and scramble the enemies' frequencies (airwaves). Your Kingdom must come now. Your will must be done right now, as in the heavens, also on earth. Amen Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts - by the power of God - Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

January 13, 2022 at 08:42 AM

Thank you Jane from the bottom of my heart. God’s blessings to you and yours always.

January 14, 2022 at 06:56 AM

Sending light to you for the path ahead :-)

January 13, 2022 at 08:37 AM

Thank you. Amen.

January 13, 2022 at 08:16 AM


January 13, 2022 at 07:48 AM

Thank you for this reflection Kathleen. I think what will stay with me today is “misusing our treasure.” How often do I do it. I pray today that I can use my super powers for good. Thy will be done with my hands. Continued prayers for A Drozdek, Ron, Robert and Fthr Ron and Kasya. Praying for the perseverance of all healthcare workers.

January 13, 2022 at 10:14 AM

Jane thank you for your prayers. Kathleen thanks for your inspiration today. Living faith family please keep Carolanne in your prayers she was at Mass this morning and needs our prayers for her losses of son and husband last year. Please keep the souls in purgatory and those who have no one to pray for them in your prayers. Ken

Kathleen Swartz McQuaig
January 13, 2022 at 10:05 AM

Yes Jane, Amen. "Misusing God's Treasure" can be such a temptation for us. But O the joy when I remember to first recognize his awesome gifts and use them for his glory! Prayers for you and our Living Faith family in their needs.

Angela Harrigan Respond to comment
January 13, 2022 at 07:03 AM

Praise be to GOD!!! ALL Glory honor and Power are Yours for ever and ever! I love You LORD

January 13, 2022 at 06:14 AM

Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done! Amen ????

Kathleen Swartz McQuaig
January 13, 2022 at 09:54 AM

Yes Beth, Our will, our way can alone, can lead to disastrous consequences. Seeking God's will first and following, can yield much greater fruit for him.


Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

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