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.
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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