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Wednesday, January 21, 1998

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St. Agnes

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
Psalm 144
Mark 3:1-6

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the lord of the giants

"Go and fight." —1 Samuel 17:32

How many giants have you killed? If the answer is "none," ask yourself another question: "How many giants have you fought?" Usually the answer to the second question is the same as the first. We've killed no giants because we haven't had the faith, guts, and love to fight any.

Every man in the Israelite army refused to fight the giant Goliath. "Then David spoke to Saul: 'Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.' But Saul answered David, 'You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him' " (1 Sm 17:32-33). If we volunteer to fight a giant, all the cowards will put us down in order to justify their cowardice.

However, our response should not be focused on defending ourselves, accusing the cowards, or sizing up the giants. We must focus on the Lord to be giant-killers. Thus, David's words in response to Saul were: "The Lord...will also keep me safe" (1 Sm 17:37). Also, when the giant Goliath insulted, cursed, and threatened him, David responded: "I come against you in the name of the Lord" (1 Sm 17:45). David ended his speech by proclaiming: "The battle belongs to the Lord" (1 Sm 17:47, our transl).

To kill a giant, you must fight one. To fight one, you must not focus on the giant, yourself, or anyone else. Fix your eyes on the Lord (see Heb 12:2).

Prayer:  Lord, the bigger You are, the harder they fall. Lord, the battle belongs to You, and I belong to You.

Promise:  "The man did so and his hand was perfectly restored." —Mk 3:5

Praise:  Agnes is said to have been more joyful at her martyrdom than the most exultant brides have been at their weddings.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Mission Impossible.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997