The Battle is the Lord’s

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Metaphors for life are numerous. Life is, some say, a journey,. . . a struggle,. . . a work in progress,. . . a banquet to be savored,. . . a "cabaret,". . . Though we might like the image, today's reading from the Book of Samuel suggests that life is a battle or a combat. The familiar story of David versus the giant, Goliath, takes center stage today. Because we are basically pacific in our demeanor and outlook, I doubt that thinking of life as a combat is our favorite. Yet we must admit that it sometimes seems as if we are fighting a war with the rest of the world.

For those of us who struggle on a day to day basis with chronic illness, the combat image might not be all that far off the mark. However, given the number of people who are living on the streets or in homeless shelters, illness and disability are just two of many giants that seem to threaten us at this time in our history. Is there anything that we can learn from David's struggle with Goliath? Does this story offer anything by way of inspiration beyond the "underdog" imagery that it conjures up?

During the exchange between the protagonist and antagonist of this story, David says: "the battle is the Lord's and he shall deliver you into our hands." Standing as he was before a man who was stronger and better equipped, his assertion was more than bravado. It was a statement of faith. David placed his fate in the hands of the Lord and simply believed that God would deliver him.

On those days when our illnesses and disabilities bring on more pain and frustration than usual, a mantra of David's words might serve to remind us that we are not alone in the struggle.

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