Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Sam24,2-20; Resp. Psalm: Ps57,2-4,6,11; Gosp. Accl.: 2Cor5,19; Gospel: Mk3,13-19
Our Lord's life was a constant, consistent communication with the Father. He did this most times on the mountain, a place that gave Him the serenity from the distractions of the world and the people who sought Him for one thing or the other.
In today's gospel, we are told that in one of these encounter on the mountain or after it, our Lord called to Himself those He desired and these in turn came to Him. From them He appointed His inner circle of followers, the twelve. He chose them to "be with Him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons."
From this we know the qualities of a goof disciple of the Lord: such a one must be chosen by the Lord Himself. A true disciple of the Lord does not choose himself but is chosen by the Lord. To be chosen, the person must be one who meets the favour of the Lord.
After this choice, the true disciple must be with the Lord. That is, the disciple must always unite himself/herself to the Lord in all things, in every circumstance. This being with the Lord is the tutelage, the learning period of the disciple from the Lord. The disciple must be close to the Lord in prayer, model his/her life on the pattern of the Lord.
It is only after the true disciple has met these conditions and has known the Lord enough that the person is sent out to preach. The disciple is sent out to represent the Master, to tell others what he/she has seen and learnt from Him. On this mission, the true disciple would be given the authority of the Master to cast out demons and perform miracles in the name of the Master.
The true disciple would consider the love of God above all things and the love of the neighbour. He would preach this love and hold it out as the only hope humanity has in the face of the madness and hatred all around. The first reading today gives us a living example of this reality.
King Saul sought the life of David. Instead of deploying his men to fight against the enemies that surrounded Israel, Saul took three thousand of them and went to fight against David. Saul's jealousy was already breaking the kingdom apart. But while on this expedition, David had a golden opportunity to kill Saul in the cave where Saul rested and in which David and his men, unknown to Saul, had camped.
Disregarding the advice of his men, David spared the life of Saul because he was not going to put out his hand against the Lord's anointed and thereby commit sin. David asked the Lord to judge between him and Saul and avenge him upon Saul. He left the fight, the vengeance to God. He left God to be the judge and to give sentence, plead his cause and deliver him from Saul's hand.
This turn of events melted Saul's hardened heart. Saul wept, declaring that David was more righteous than he was, repaying him good for evil, sparing his life when the Lord gave it to his hands, letting him go safe. For this singular deed, Saul came to the conclusion that David shall surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel would be established in his hand.
We must learn from the Lord, the Son of David. We must learn so as to be even more committed to His service. We must learn so as to become His true disciples. May we have the patience, docility, generousity of heart to follow the Lord faithfully wherever He leads us.
Let us pray: O God our Father, we thank you for the example of the life of your Only-Begotten Son. Make us His true disciples. Give us your grace to love and serve Him in all we do and say. Make our lives radiant with His love. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.