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It is the Lord who fights for the righteous!

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

January 17, Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot
Daily readings: 1 Samuel 17:32–33, 37. 40–51,  Mark 3:1–6

It is said, “If there is a Goliath in front of you, that means there is a David inside of you.” This saying comes about because, right from the beginning, David is sure that God fights the war and that he is an instrument in the hands of God. The Philistines and Saul, God’s chosen king, believed that it was all human affairs. They are talking about human strengths and David’s inability to wear the outfits of warfare. It is David who realizes God’s continued presence in his life ever since he became a shepherd.

One can see an element of strong faith in God, and therefore he believes in himself as capable of facing any challenge with aplomb and courage. The enemy has been a great warrior since his youth, while David is only a youth. It makes the challenge insurmountable. The God who protected him from the paws of the lion and bear will protect him even now. It demonstrates how God has been with David. He placed his trust in the Lord rather than in his ability to use the sling. When human abilities are made available to the Lord in humility, God empowers those women and men to work wonders for greater exploits for the Kingdom of God.

The Pharisees enjoyed spying on Jesus’ activities to find fault with him in order to accuse him and discredit him as the Messiah. Jesus was not a doctor who practiced medicine. It is true that a person cannot practice his or her profession on the Sabbath. But they also know that human life is more important or that liberating a person who suffers from anything is more important than the rules of the law.

One may argue that a withered hand is not a life-threatening sickness. But Jesus wants to exercise his authority to overrule the traditions of the Pharisees. God’s law of Sabbath is never meant to keep people in bondage. When Jesus sees a need, he fulfills it. Sabbath Day is also a day when one can be more merciful and kind. The hard-hearted Jews are stubborn enough to refuse to submit to God’s will. Jesus’ grief and distress are expressions of divine love. Every miracle is a manifestation of God’s love.

Holy Mother Church celebrates the feast of St. Anthony the Great, who defined monastic life by abandoning his property. He shut himself off from the world but didn’t refuse to become a spiritual guide to his followers and a solace to those suffering.

Call to Action for Catholic Living: Do the rules we uphold reveal God’s character, namely mercy, justice, and compassion?


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.