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January 19

FOCUS:  Strive for holiness and to live as the Lord’s anointed ones.


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Reflecting on today’s readings, I am reminded of our Baptismal anointing with Sacred Chrism, which signifies our roles as priest, prophet, and king in God’s kingdom. We are called to sacrifice ourselves in obedience to God’s Will, tell others the good news of God’s salvific love for us, and serve others with merciful love.

Our first reading shows us the deep respect David has for Saul as the Lord’s anointed king.  Instead of killing Saul, David leaves the judgment of the wicked king to God, knowing that God will exact justice.  David points out that he took pity on Saul.  In a certain sense, sparing the life of Saul in the cave was a greater victory for David than his victory over Goliath.  David’s victory in the case of Saul is not attained through weapons and bloodshed, but by putting his anger to death and practicing mercy.  Wickedness is never the right path. We too, are called to overcome the sin of anger by taking the path of mercy to those who would harm or attack us physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually.

Saul is moved to tears when he learns that David spared his life.  Saul now knows more than ever that his time as king is ending and that one day David will reign as king over Israel.  David has shown that he will be a good king, who is capable of mercy.  David is not perfect.  He knows this and many times throughout his reign we see him entrust himself to the Lord’s mercy and beg for forgiveness for the sins he commits. We should not hesitate to take on our kingly role of serving others because we are sinners ourselves. Authentic mercy shown to others, and the humility to ask God for forgiveness for our sins is a grace and power we have received from the Holy Spirit. Let’s use it to do God’s work.

Speaking of not being perfect, today’s Gospel recalls Jesus summoning the first “apostles” to go out and act with His power to spread the good news throughout the land. The Apostles have different backgrounds, sensibilities, and personalities.  Everything they are, all their talents and abilities, can be placed at the service of others in God’s merciful Kingdom.  However, only from intimate communion with Jesus will their apostolic ministry bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. We too must always seek to be in communion with God, ever growing in our knowledge, love, and faith in Him, so we can better live in obedience to His Will.

Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection

How can I practice mercy today?

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