January 23, 2014
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-translations
Jealousy is an insidious disease of the spirit. It eats away deep within and can lead a person to acts she or he might otherwise consider unthinkable…if in their “right mind.” How fortunate for David that Jonathan had courage enough to stand up to King Saul, mollifying his anger and reasoning with him about the truth of the situation.
Across the globe we can readily identify any number of political situations which are deteriorating because of similar intolerance and hubris. The same is true of difficult family situations where the “wheels have come off” in a fit of anger or hatred. It takes quite a bit of courage to speak up in the face of hardened attitudes and angry threats. Bringing the angry party to a point of reason and reality involves the skill and commitment of true peacemaking. Hard work–but well worth it for the health and hope of a family, a community, even our Church.
Is there some situation where I can bring words of calm, a gesture of peace, even a brief oasis of forgiveness? If so, ask the Lord to give you the “right words”… and go for it!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
—St. Francis of Assisi
Please share the Good Word with your friends!