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  • Father David M. Knight

Father David's Reflection for Saturday of Week One (Ordinary Time)

Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.

(Responsorial: Psalm 21)

1Samuel 9:1 to 10:1 God tells Samuel he has chosen Saul to be Israel’s king:

“You shall anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen the suffering of my people.”

When Samuel told Saul this, Saul had a hard time believing it. He answered:

“My family is the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”

But Samuel anointed him anyway, as all of us were anointed at Baptism to continue the saving mission of Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King:

Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him; he said, “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the power of the enemies surrounding them.

Lines after the reading tell us:

As Saul turned away to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart… and the spirit of God possessed him…. When all who knew him before saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

It is hard for us to believe, much less remain aware, that we have been chosen and anointed by God as truly as Saul was. And for an even greater mission: to be the body of Jesus himself acting with us, in us and through us to save the people we deal with “from the power of the enemies surrounding them”—that is, from the “Philistines” of our society whose blindness distorts the attitudes and values of American culture.

God has given us “another heart” by Baptism: “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”

As disciples we have “become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which we were entrusted.” As prophets we make evident through our lifestyle that “out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” As priests we “have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” And as stewards of Christ’s kingship we know, “with the eyes of our heart enlightened, what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints.” With the awareness of this hope in our hearts we work to establish God’s reign on earth “while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” 1

We have reason to sing, “Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.”

God called Saul through Samuel. In Mark 2:13-17 Jesus himself calls Levi to become Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. And acting with, in and through the minister of our Baptism, Jesus called us. We just have to keep ourselves aware of the mystery of our new identity and call.

Initiative: Believe in your anointing. Keep yourself aware of what you are.

1 2 Corinthians 5:17. See John 7:38; Romans 6:17; Ephesians 1:18; 1 Peter 3:8; Titus 2:13.

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