“All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle belongs to the Lord, who shall deliver you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47
Young David comes up against Goliath the Philistine, armed only with a slingshot, a few stones, and faith. It was a challenge that none of Saul’s seasoned warriors would face. In life there are moments when all seems lost, and those around us say, “It’s useless to even try. Let’s give in.” There are moments when we, like David, are seen as insignificant, with nothing to contribute to a cause. In these moments, we must be careful to listen closely to the Spirit of the Lord, to stand for our principles and not calculate victory based on numbers, support, or our own capacities. When we choose to serve the Lord, our fidelity is key; not our numbers nor our ‘weapons’. If it is the Lord’s battle, we must rely on His strength alone.
How many saints in the history of the Church had to stand alone, sometimes, even without the Church itself? St. Francis of Assisi? St. Catherine of Siena? St. Joan of Arc? St. Teresa of Avila? St. Bernardine? St. Kateri Tekakwitha? St. Stephan? The list is endless, but it is good company to keep.
Why would the saints undergo such hardship, if not for the Eternal One? In today’s reading from Saint Luke, Jesus says:
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives. – Luke 21:16-19
The calculation of our victory must reach beyond our daily battles, into the eternal. We must be willing to choose Christ in each moment, so that when the final battle comes, or we have to face the Goliaths in our own lives, the stones we carry in our pouch will be forged in the virtues lived out in our daily lives, and the Sacraments of the Church to sustain us toward that final battle where only God knows the day or the hour.
May God bless you.