A Reading from the Second Book of Samuel (5:1-5, 9-10)
All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Look, we are your bone and flesh. For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. David occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inward. And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
> David was the king of Judah, the southern tribe and then over all of Israel.
> David was initially in Hebron (capital of Judah), where the Tomb of the Patriarchs is believed to be located.
> David was also commander of the army under Saul.
> David conquered Jerusalem, which was a “neutral” city and a good place to unite north and south.
> Our own Washington DC was patterned after this tactic.
> Scholars do not know where or what Millo is.
1 Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised; *
in the city of our God is his holy hill.
2 Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, *
the very center of the world and the city of the great King.
3 God is in her citadels; *
he is known to be her sure refuge.
4 Behold, the kings of the earth assembled *
and marched forward together.
5 They looked and were astounded; *
they retreated and fled in terror.
6 Trembling seized them there; *
they writhed like a woman in childbirth,
like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.
7 As we have heard, so have we seen,
in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; *
God has established her for ever.
8 We have waited in silence on your loving kindness, O God, *
in the midst of your temple.
9 Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world’s end; *
your right hand is full of justice.
10 Let Mount Zion be glad
and the cities of Judah rejoice, *
because of your judgments.
11 Make the circuit of Zion;
walk round about her; *
count the number of her towers.
12 Consider well her bulwarks;
examine her strongholds; *
that you may tell those who come after.
13 This God is our God for ever and ever; *
he shall be our guide for evermore.
> These verses are related to the holy city of Jerusalem.
> The comparison of this holy city is to the Lord.
> Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were considered the center of the universe for the Jews at that time.
> One always goes “up” to Jerusalem, irrespective of elevation.
> Verse seven is the center of this psalm and divides it in two.
> All of the cities should rejoice to God.
> The strength of Jerusalem is the strength of God.
A Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (12:2-10)
I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows—was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
> These verses highlight Paul’s great vision of God.
> The “person in Christ” was Paul himself.
> The “third heaven” is the throne of God.
> Scholars do not know what Paul’s ailment was that plagued him every so often.
> There is a contrast between weakness and strength.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (6:1-13)
Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
> There are two stories in these verses.
> 1) Non-belief of Jesus’s family and home town. 2) Sending out of Jesus’ disciples.
> The first story notes “the son of Mary,” implying that Joseph is dead.
> Jesus’ brothers and sisters are also clearly mentioned.
> The people of Jesus’ home town knew him to be a commoner and did not believe him to be the Messiah.
> In the second story, Jesus sends out his disciples two at at time by anointing them to carry on his ministry.
> They should only go where they are welcome.