Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Sunday, August 07, 2005

War With the Ammonites

Daily Readings
The Wisdom of Solomon 14 + II Samuel 10:1-11:1 + Zechariah 14 + John 16

Quote of the Day
On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. John 16:26, 27

Daily Text: II Samuel 10:1-11:1

Lectio What one word or phrase from the Daily Text leaps out at you? ‘Comment’ below.

War with the Ammonites
David held hesed for Nahash as he did for Jonathan. And so when Nahash died he extended his goodwill toward the son of Nahash, Hanun, as he had done to the son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth. This time treachery meets his extended tribute. His emissaries are treated as spies and symbolically emasculated, having half their beards cut off and half their clothes cut off exposing their genitals. Then they are sent back to David as laughing stocks with the implicit message to David that he was considered of little account. When David took umbrage the laughing stopped and panic ensued to such an extent that Hunan was forced to employ mercenaries with forces larger than his own. Joab was surrounded when he mounted an attack and so he divided his forces and he himself led the attack against the Arameans who were the mercenaries. They refused to stand against his picked and very experienced forces. Fleeing with significant losses, the only thing left to the Ammonites was to flee also. This they did, right back into their fortified city thus escaping certain defeat for the moment. In the meantime the Arameans and all of their allies made peace with Israel, not a good sign for the Ammonites.

But for once the battle is not the issue. This war, this battle is told to set the stage for the most famous of all moral failures in Holy Scripture.

Meditatio What would you add to this commentary on the Daily Text? ‘Comment’ below.

Weapons of Evil
From “The Tao The King”

Soldiers are weapons of evil.
They are not the weapons of the gentleman.
When the use of soldiers cannot be helped,
The best policy is calm restraint.

Even in victory, there is no beauty,
And who calls it beautiful
Is one who delights in slaughter.
He who delights in slaughter
Will not succeed in his ambition to rule the world….

The slaying of multitudes should be mourned
With sorrow.
A victory should be celebrated with the
Funeral Rite.
From the Chinese; tr. By Lin Yutang
407:1755

(Alternative poem? Include under ‘comment’ below.)

Oratio Conspire to respond with an act of kindness for someone you encounter today. Make it loving, low key and low risk. Hold a door, clean a car, give a flower, notice the unnoticed, make Christ’s love real. Write your experience below under ‘Comment.’

Contemplatio Enjoy what God is doing through you.

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