Revised Common Lectionary Commentary

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - June 21, 2015

Introductions for Readers

Saint Dominic contemplating the Scriptures

Saint Dominic
contemplating the Scriptures

1 Samuel 17:1a,4-11,19-23,32-49

Through Samuel, God has chosen David, youngest son of Jesse, to be the future king of Israel. David, a shepherd, has received the spirit of God. Saul has lost God’s favour. David has developed a special relationship with Saul through playing the lute for him.

1 Samuel 17:32-49

Israel’s arch-enemy was Philistia, a nation on the Mediterranean coast. The two armies face each other across a river valley in the hills west of Bethlehem. In ancient times, a dispute between nations might be decided by individual combat, as David and Goliath do here.

1 Samuel 17:57-18:5,10-16

As sometimes happened in ancient times, a dispute between Israel and Philistia, her arch-enemy, has been settled (for a while) by individual combat. David has used an unconventional weapon to kill Goliath the Philistine. Abner serves Saul as commander of the army. Jonathan is Saul’s son and heir.

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Quoting a prophecy from Isaiah, Paul tells the Christians at Corinth that now is the time when God is pouring out his freely given gift of love – his grace. He says: we are being restored to unison with God now. We, as God’s agents, need to respond by actively spreading the good news.

Mark 4:35-41

Jesus has told the good news of the Kingdom to the crowds, in a way they could understand, but “he has explained everything in private to his disciples”. Now he shows the disciples that the power the Father has given him includes the ability to control the unruly forces of nature.

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May 13
The Day of Pentecost
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