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First Reading for the Saturday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27

Summary: David and his men mourn deeply for Saul and Jonathan, fallen in battle. David laments their loss, praising their strength and lamenting the tragedy of war and lost friendship.

David Mourns Saul and Jonathan

David returned from his defeat of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. Going to David, he fell to the ground in homage. David asked him, “Where do you come from?”

He replied, “I have escaped from the camp of the children of Israel.”

“Tell me what happened,” David bade him.

He answered that many of the soldiers had fled the battle and that many of them had fallen and were dead, among them Saul and his son Jonathan.

David seized his garments and rent them, and all the men who were with him did likewise. They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the soldiers of the LORD of the clans of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

“Alas! the glory of Israel, Saul, slain upon your heights; how can the warriors have fallen!

Saul and Jonathan, beloved and cherished, separated neither in life nor in death, swifter than eagles, stronger than lions! Women of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and in finery, who decked your attire with ornaments of gold.

How can the warriors have fallen– in the thick of the battle, slain upon your heights!

I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother! most dear have you been to me; more precious have I held love for you than love for women.

How can the warriors have fallen, the weapons of war have perished!”

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