January 21, 2016

St. Agnes

1 Sm 18: 6-9; 19: 1-7

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they made merry, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day on.

Saul spoke with his son Jonathan and with all his servants about killing David. But Saul’s son Jonathan took great delight in David. Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and hide yourself. I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.”

Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?” Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation

Into Jesus’ Arms

Such human truths in this story! Two warlords, Saul and David, are vying for supremacy. Both have been anointed by God, but one has now been “rejected” and replaced by God’s “favorite.” Saul’s distrust of God’s love and his deep experience of rejection by God give birth to a resentment bent on killing. It’s a human story both ancient and current.

But it’s Jonathan, a son and friend, who tells God’s story in this narrative. His love is not conditioned by human limits, but he accompanies his father in rejection and his friend David in his call.  In fact, Jonathan’s love is God’s voice saying to Saul, “I have not rejected you!”

When I am tempted to distrust God’s love, especially in the midst of rejection, may I let go of this tired narrative and fall into the arms of Jesus, friend and son, whose embrace says, “I love you and will never reject you!”

— Ryen Dwyer, S.J., a Chicago-Detroit province Jesuit scholastic, is currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

I have loved you with an everlasting love,
I have called you and you are mine.
Seek the face of the Lord and long for him:
He will bring you his light and his peace,
I have loved you with an everlasting love,
I have called you and you are mine.

—Michael Joncas, © New Dawn Music, Inc.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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January 21, 2016

St. Agnes

1 Sm 18: 6-9; 19: 1-7

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they made merry, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day on.

Saul spoke with his son Jonathan and with all his servants about killing David. But Saul’s son Jonathan took great delight in David. Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and hide yourself. I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.”

Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?” Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation

Into Jesus’ Arms

Such human truths in this story! Two warlords, Saul and David, are vying for supremacy. Both have been anointed by God, but one has now been “rejected” and replaced by God’s “favorite.” Saul’s distrust of God’s love and his deep experience of rejection by God give birth to a resentment bent on killing. It’s a human story both ancient and current.

But it’s Jonathan, a son and friend, who tells God’s story in this narrative. His love is not conditioned by human limits, but he accompanies his father in rejection and his friend David in his call.  In fact, Jonathan’s love is God’s voice saying to Saul, “I have not rejected you!”

When I am tempted to distrust God’s love, especially in the midst of rejection, may I let go of this tired narrative and fall into the arms of Jesus, friend and son, whose embrace says, “I love you and will never reject you!”

— Ryen Dwyer, S.J., a Chicago-Detroit province Jesuit scholastic, is currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

I have loved you with an everlasting love,
I have called you and you are mine.
Seek the face of the Lord and long for him:
He will bring you his light and his peace,
I have loved you with an everlasting love,
I have called you and you are mine.

—Michael Joncas, © New Dawn Music, Inc.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!