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It is better to obey God than offer many holocausts!

Background Music: Panalangin by Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Arlene Donarber

January 15, Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Daily readings: 1 Samuel 15:16–23,  Mark 2:18–22

Saul, the first king of Israel, has forgotten the road he travelled. He not only dared to disobey the Lord’s command but also took courage to question and argue with Samuel, the man of God.  He proves to be a liar who justifies his actions. God takes note of his rebellion. To rebel against God is to take the future into one’s own hands. It is an attempt to define life as the person wants it and not the way God wants it.

The excuse that Saul offers is unacceptable. God’s choice, election and appointment of the king of Israel make emphatically clear that God is the true king of Israel and that the kings of Israel are only God’s agents. They have to obey the commands of the Lord and observe the Law, statutes and ordinances of the Lord. God warns every human tendency to rebel as deplorable idol worship. The sin of the first parents, of Cain and the story of the Tower of Babel are all clear examples of human rebellion. Time and again, the prophets warn against this evil.

Fasting is a noble act. It does a world of good for one’s physical, psychological and spiritual health. The disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees fast, but not Jesus’ disciples. The Old Testament demands fasting only on the Day of Atonement. The Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Thursdays as an act of piety. They encouraged the people to fast as well. When the people came to question Jesus, he gave them a real orientation. The Pharisees fasted to showcase their piety, while the disciples of John the Baptist fasted as a sign of mourning for their sins and preparing for the coming of the Messiah.

Jesus is in the midst of his disciples, and it is clear that there is no need for them to fast. To be with Jesus is as joyous as the wedding feast. A wedding is a time of feasting and celebration. Jesus himself fasted for 40 days and nights (Luke 4:2), and he is not against fasting. Jesus is of the opinion that fasting must be done at the right time and for the right reasons.

The Holy Mother celebrates the memory of St. Paul, the first Hermit. Born in Thebes, Egypt, he spent 90 years in prayer and contemplation and passed away at the ripe age of 113. His body remained in the form of a kneeling prayer. Two lions came and dug a grave for him.

The SVDs all over the world celebrate the Feast day of their Father, Founder and Teacher St. Arnold Janssen, who founded three religious congregations: two for active missionary work (SVD and SSpS) and one for contemplation (SSpSAP).

Call to Action for Catholic Living: Law-abiding citizens and God-fearing faithful are needed to sustain God’s creation today. In what way can I contribute to this cause?


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.