Sunday, February 24, 2019
Today, in Mercy, our reading from 1 Samuel tells the intriguing tale of David’s magnanimity toward Saul. Saul is enraged and jealous of David whom Samuel has anointed as king to replace Saul. David is continually in Saul’s crosshairs.
But one night, David stealthily enters Saul’s camp. Even though he has a chance to kill Saul, David spares his life out of respect for his kingship.
While it’s not exactly “love for his enemies”, David does demonstrate a largeness of spirit that foretells today’s Gospel. This gracious spirit demonstrates that David is in right relationship (covenant) with God.
Our Gospel is part of Jesus’s Great Sermon in which he restates and renews the covenant of right relationship. If our spirits are true to God, we will love as God loves. We are to be merciful as God is merciful.
This Law of Love is the essence of life in Christ. It is a profoundly challenging call.
How hard it must have been for David as he stood, spear in hand, over his sleeping enemy – over the one trying to kill him!
How hard it is for us not to be vengeful, retaliatory, and parsimonious when we feel threatened or exploited.
But we are called, in Christ, to the New Covenant of love. By that call, we are endowed with a right spirit.
Today, Jesus asks us to love, forgive, and judge all others as we ourselves would want to be treated. He asks us to live with a divinely magnanimous heart.
Let us pray for the strength to respond.
Music: O Mercy – Stu Garrard, Matt Maher and Audrey Assad