Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No Razor Shall Touch His Head

              Today's first reading is a remembrance of the Old Testament tragic hero, Samson. It's interesting that the Church places this birth story during our preparation in the season of Advent. If you have read my book, you would know that Samson is one of my favorite biblical characters as his story teaches us much about the beauty and also the possible downfall of being a bodybuilder. As many might know who Samson ended up becoming, many forget who he was in the beginning of his life.

"The boy grew up and the LORD blessed him;
the Spirit of the LORD stirred him."
- Judges13: 24-25

              Samson was a precursor of the deliverer of God's chosen people. As a warrior, he was unstoppable. His strength was sufficient enough to break the jaw of a lion. Before he truly understood what his mission was to be, he kept this killing of a lion a secret. This alludes to the fact that he began as a humble servant of the Lord, and the Lord smiled upon him with continual inhuman strength. Samson was raised to be a good Jewish man. I am reminded of the story of Superman, coming from a humble home, not knowing his purpose or the reason for his powers, he heeds the call to become something great, something 'super'. Samson, just like Superman, I am sure had times where he wished to just fit in and be one of the normal people, but God had other plans and in order to follow the will of God a man must humbly accept his position, either as leader, father or priest.

              Samson personally took out 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Needless to say, this Herculean character was blessed in abundance from a God who loved him. Unfortunately, pride got the best of our hero. Samson began to believe that he was the source of his strength and not God. In doing this, God removed his hedge of protection and the enemies of the chosen people were able to take Samson's strength away. Through the sinful acts of lust and pride Samson was no longer the He-man that God created him to be. Samson became the self-absorbed egoist who, though he still claimed to be manly, allowed a women (who was from the race of the enemy) to lead him around as a 'puppy-like' servant. When Samson's eyes veered away from pleasing God, it ultimately led to his destruction.  He was the bodybuilder of the Old Testament, and in saying this his story acts as a reminder to us who love growing in strength that we must never forget where that strength comes from. There is much to learn from Samson and I highly recommend reading the book of Judges to hear the amazing feats of manliness and strength, yet also weakness and concupiscence.

             It is also worthy to note that the Gospel today reflects on the announcement of the conception of John the Baptist. Zechariah, John's father, doubted the abilities of God. His intellectual pride loomed over his punishment of muteness. In both of our biblical instances a neglection of duty and a disbelief in the overarching power of the Creator, caused men to fall and thus are justly punished. Men were created to be great, to be leaders and Samson's story works perfectly for our Advent season, I believe especially for men, to prepare our hearts, to humbly accept the will of the Father, and to embrace the incarnation of Christ as the new Hero of mankind.


  1. Just bought your Ten Commandments of Lifting Weights and look forward to reading it. Great blog!

    1. Thank you spraffmeister! I hope you enjoy 'Ten Commandments', and thank you for follwoing the blog.