Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Sam15,16-23; Resp. Psalm: Ps50,8-9,16-17,21,23; Gosp. Accl.: Heb4,12; Gospel: Mk2,18-22
The human will treasures its independence. The human will desires and longs for self determination and ability to make its own decisions and live by the consequences of its choices. The human person and the will are however limited in their capacity to determine what the real good is. In almost all instances, the vision is very short and the choices considered as good very wrong.
This is why whether it wants it or not, the will of man can never claim total dependence from God, the objective referral point and the determinant of what the good is. This is why the voice of God must be obeyed because He knows what we do not know and what we will never know because of the limitedness of our visions.
Saul was chosen by Yahweh as king over Israel. But in reality, Saul was Yahweh's messenger because Yahweh was still the King over His people. Saul had the obligation to obey the voice of Yahweh in order to succeed in all his ways. Unfortunately, Saul decided to go his way and do his own will. This led to disaster for this king.
He was sent to put the Amalekites to total destruction. He was never to spare anything. He was to fight them until they were all destroyed because they were a sinful nation. Saul did this. But greed had the better of him. He destroyed the people but decided to take spoils. Saul and the people with him "took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction." Saul's excuse was that these were going to be used for sacrifice to God in Gilgal.
The response of Samuel to Saul is one each of us should meditate on: "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." The disobedience of Saul consisted in his rejection of the expressed word and command of Yahweh.
By his life, our Lord came to teach us the meaning of obedience. As the Bridegroom, He gave His life for our salvation. He taught us by His life the good we are to choose and the evil we are to avoid. While He was physically on earth, He taught His disciples that there was no need to fast since they would only fast when He would be physically absent from them.
The word teaches us today that obedience to the voice of God is paramount importance if we claim to be adorers of God. We cannot but listen and act on His word. In His will lies our peace. Let us trust in Him and obey.
Let us pray: God our Father, you call us to obey your voice. Heal our brokenness. Teach our stubborn hearts. Enlighten our confused souls. Lead us back to you. Grant us the grace to trust and obey you in all circumstances of our lives. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.