Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
(I Samuel 18:6-9.19:1-7; Mark 3:7-12)
Life’s great tragedy lies not in becoming old but in failing to become wise. King Saul in the first reading should realize that the chorus of women praising David is as fickle as weather on the prairie. If he were a wise man, he would not worry that the people favor David to himself. Rather he would concentrate on how he, as king, might serve the Lord by attending to the people’s needs.
Certainly Saul’s son Jonathan better fits the profile of a wise person. As wisdom seeks the harmony of right order, Jonathan takes pains to reconcile the king with his best warrior. He reasons with Saul that David is no threat to him. He also protects David until father promises to do him no harm. Unfortunately, Saul will allow his envy to reassert itself in a self-defeating manner. David will once more flee for his life, and Saul and Jonathan will be killed in battle.
We can locate the virtue that Saul lacks and that which Jonathan exhibits in the Lord Jesus. In today’s gospel he refuses to have his divine origin in part to avoid misunderstanding. And he never ceases to cure people of their ailments. Wise persons will imitate Jesus’ virtue.