Year A: Fourth Sunday of Lent
First Reading: 1 Samuel 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13
The prophet Samuel has been charged by God to go out and anoint the new king of Israel - a choice to be made from the sons of Jesse. All are fine, strong young men - and Samuel is duly impressed - but each time God says no. Samuel cannot quite understand why - but God says that He does not judge by outward appearance - but on what lies in the heart of the man. Of the seven brothers to come before Samuel, none is chosen.
Samuel still senses that God has chosen one of Jesseís son - and when he insists is told that the youngest is out minding the sheep. When Samuel sees him, he sees a young man of good appearance - but it is only when the Lord confirms that this is indeed the one that Samuel anoints him king. As he was anointed, we are told, Godís spirit came upon him and stayed with him for the rest of his life.
History was to prove that the choice was wise - but that did not mean that David would rule without blemish. He made mistakes - and committed grave sins - but God did not give up on him. He had been chosen because God could see that his spirit was sound - and that, whatever mistakes he made, he would turn back to God for forgiveness.
We are tempted to judge by outward appearances - and it is true that some people do have a beauty that speaks of a beauty within. Others, however, have a veneer of goodness that conceals inner ugliness. It is not always easy to distinguish between the two. This is when we need to do as Samuel did - listen with our spiritual ears to the inner voice that is God - and be guided by what we see with our spiritual sight.
What does it mean for me?
Text © 2007 WellspringWeekly Wellsprings |