Thoughts and Reflection
In today’s reading, we learn that we do not need to indulge in sexual appetites. This is not something a person needs like food or shelter so adultery are always condemned. How often do we sin in seeking things we do net need? This shows our brokenness. We must always ask the Lord for his mercy and forgiveness, reconciliation and healing so we can avoid these sins in the future.
We are introduced today to Saul, who, we are told, is the most handsome man in Israel. He is tall and looks like a warrior. The role of a king is to fight for and unite his people. He certainly does look like he fits that role. Saul, however, suffers from an affliction. He is concerned what others think of him. This makes him incapable of being a truly great king. He isn’t an evil character, he still makes good and noble decisions and does fulfill the Lord’s commands in many respects.
When Samuel anoints Saul, he says that the Spirit of God will come upon him and make him a new creation. This is exactly what happens through Baptism.
We should be able to identify with Saul. Even though he is not the most heroic characters, he is not thoroughly corrupt either. Like many of us, he cares too much about what other people think of us.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 Samuel 9
4 They went through the highlands of Ephraim, they went through the territory of Shalishah, and did not find them; they went through the territory of Shaalim but they were not there; they went through the territory of Benjamin and did not find them.
6 The servant, however, replied, ‘Look, there is a man of God in this town, a man who is held in honour; everything he says comes true. Let us go there, then; perhaps he will be able to show us the way that we should take.’
7 Saul said to his servant, ‘But if we do go, what can we take to the man? The food in our sacks is finished, and we have no present to offer the man of God. What else have we got?’
8 The servant spoke up again and said to Saul, ‘Look, I happen to have a quarter of a silver shekel; I shall give that to the man of God, for him to tell us which way to go.’
9 In Israel, in olden days, when anyone used to go to consult God, he would say, ‘Come on, let us go to the seer,’ for a man who is now called a ‘prophet’ used to be called a ‘seer’ in olden days.
12 The girls replied, ‘He is. He arrived a moment or two ahead of you. You had better hurry: he has just come to town because the people are having a sacrifice today on the high place.
13 You can catch him as soon as you go into the town, before he goes up to the high place for the meal. The people will not eat until he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; after that, the guests will start eating. If you go up now, you will find him straight away.’
16 ‘About this time tomorrow, I shall send you a man from the territory of Benjamin; you are to anoint him as prince of my people Israel, and he will save my people from the power of the Philistines; for I have seen the misery of my people and their cries of anguish have come to me.’
20 As regards your donkeys, however, which strayed three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And for whom is the whole wealth of Israel destined, if not for you and for all the members of your father’s family?’
21 To this, Saul replied, ‘Am I not a Benjaminite, from the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And is not my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why are you saying a thing like this to me?’
22 Samuel then took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of the guests, of whom there were about thirty.
25 They came down from the high place into the town. A bed was made for Saul on the roof and he lay down there.
1 Samuel 10
1 Samuel took a phial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head; he then kissed him and said, ‘Has not Yahweh anointed you as leader of his people Israel? You are the man who is to govern Yahweh’s people and save them from the power of the enemies surrounding them. The sign for you that Yahweh has anointed you as prince of his heritage is this:
2 after leaving me today, you will meet two men near the tomb of Rachel, on the frontier of Benjamin . . . and they will say to you, “The donkeys which you went looking for have been found, and your father has lost interest in the matter of the donkeys and is worrying about you and wondering, What am I to do about my son?”
3 Going on from there, you will come to the Oak of Tabor, where you will meet three men going up to God at Bethel; one will be carrying three kids, one three loaves of bread and the third a skin of wine.
4 They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread which you must accept from them.
5 After this, you will come to Gibeah of God (where the Philistine garrison is) and, when you are just outside the town, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place, headed by lyre, tambourine, pipe and harp; they will be in a state of ecstasy.
7 When these signs have occurred, act as occasion serves, for God is with you.
8 You will then go down, ahead of me, to Gilgal, and I shall join you there to make burnt offerings and to offer communion sacrifices. You must wait seven days for me to come to you, and I shall then reveal to you what you must do.’
9 As soon as he had turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart. And all these signs occurred that very day . . .
11 Seeing him prophesying with the prophets, all the people who had known him previously said to one another, ‘What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul one of the prophets too?’
12 And one of the local people retorted, ‘But who is their father?’ Hence the origin of the proverb: Is Saul one of the prophets too?
17 Samuel summoned the people to Yahweh at Mizpah
19 But today you have rejected your God, him who saves you from all your difficulties and troubles; and you have said, “No, you must set a king over us.” Very well, take your positions before Yahweh, tribe by tribe and clan by clan.’
20 Samuel then made all the tribes of Israel come forward, and the lot indicated the tribe of Benjamin.
21 He then made the tribe of Benjamin come forward clan by clan, and the lot indicated the clan of Matri; he then made the clan of Matri come forward one by one, and the lot indicated Saul son of Kish, but when they looked for him, he was not to be found.
24 Samuel then said to all the people, ‘You have seen the man whom Yahweh has chosen, and that among the whole people he has no equal.’ And all the people acclaimed him, shouting, ‘Long live the king!’
26 Saul too went home to Gibeah and with him went those strong men whose hearts God had touched.
23 For the precept is a lamp, the teaching is a light; correction and discipline are the way to life,