Today in the first reading we heard the familiar story of David defeating the giant Goliath. As a child I dreamed of being as courageous as he was; standing up against someone bigger and more powerful. It is easy to relate to that feeling as a child. However we forget the power that this story has for us as adults as well. We too can learn to fight our giants by following David’s example.
Today is also the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Thousands marched in Washington D.C. In our Diocese and across the country the people of God gathered to pray for an end to abortion. At the Diocesan Mass for Life in our cathedral, Deacon Nick Nichols gave a stirring homily that inspired this post.
Deacon Nick explained: The Phillistine army, for whom Goliath fought, had a monopoly on iron metallurgy and therefore had the most advanced weapons of their day. Their enemies feared their military power. And yet David refuses the armor and weapons king Saul offered him. David hastened to the battlefield dressed as any shepherd, with his staff and armed with only a sling and five stones.
What can we learn from David?
As Deacon Nick highlighted:
“To defeat our giants, we don’t use the weapons of this world.”
Like David we charge ahead to the battlefield, certain that if God is on our side, all things are possible. We step out on faith. We don’t trust in the mighty sword. We trust in the power of God. Our little sling and stone may look foolish to those with eyes of this world. Those who see with eyes of faith know differently.
When I look at some of the daunting giants that we are facing in our country and our world, whether it is abortion as we are remembering today, or famine or war or immigration reform or religious liberty or genocide…and the list goes on and on…these seem like unconquerable giants! What could I possibly do to turn the tide on such major issues?
Or what about more personal giants that I face on a daily basis: addictions, gossip, selfishness, laziness, over eating and on and on. No matter how hard I try, there they are taunting me.
Deacon Nick’s answer was meekness in love. I would like to expand on that and propose that our weapon is the Holy Spirit.
If the Holy Spirit is acting through us we will bear his fruits:
These are the banners of our army. They are strikingly different than the weapons of this world. Our giants – whether internal or external, personal or communal – will laugh at us. They will taunt us. They will say our weapons are foolish. They will doubt the power of our God. And before they know what hit them, they will fall!
Let us call upon the Spirit. Let us allow him to work in our lives. Let us do our part in whatever battle God has set before us. Let us trust that he is the ultimate weapon against any giant that may come our way.
What giant have you faced in your life? How has the Holy Spirit helped you fight this giant?