Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, July 16, 2005

God First

Daily Readings
Song of Solomon 1 + I Samuel 20 + Judith 15:12-16:25 +Hebrews 13

Quote of the Day
“Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.” Hebrews 13:3

Daily Text: I Samuel 20:1-5, 24, 27, 30-31, 41-42
David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, "What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?" 2He said to him, "Far from it! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!" 3But David also swore, "Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, 'Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.' But truly, as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death." 4Then Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you say, I will do for you." 5David said to Jonathan, "Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening.
24 So David hid himself in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat at the feast to eat. 27But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David's place was empty. And Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why has the son of Jesse not come to the feast, either yesterday or today?" 30Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan. He said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? 31For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die." 41As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more. 42Then Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.'" He got up and left; and Jonathan went into the city.

Lectio What one word or phrase from the Daily Text leaps out at you? ‘Comment’ below.

God First
It becomes very clear that Saul will take David’s life and why he will do so. David threatens the kingship. His own son will not inherit unless David is no longer, and the infuriating truth is that Jonathan is in league with the man who can take the throne from him. Saul is completely beyond himself. How could his own son betray himself as well as his father?

But Jonathan and David have a covenant. Jonathan understands very well that David will take his place. He also understands perfectly that YHWH would have it so, and this covenant, the one with Israel is the one he confirms with David. Their love, though strained through this threatening time, is reaffirmed and reinforced by Jonathan’s impeccable behavior toward David and David’s reassuring love toward Jonathan. Family ties are complicated and emotions run hot as Jonathan through David makes his choice for YHWH over his own father.

It is ever thus. Jesus predicts that sons will hate their fathers [Luke 14:25-33] as they choose to become his disciple. It is for you and for me a continuing challenge. ‘God first’ will always have the potential to muck up the expectations held within families and among friends. God give us the love, the wisdom and the foresight of Jonathan as we make our decisions for God.

Meditatio What would you add to this commentary on the Daily Text? ‘Comment’ below.

Seek Ye First
Matthew 6:33
Karen Lafferty

Seek ye first
The kingdom of God
And its righteousness,
And all these things
Shall be added unto you;
Allelu, alleluia!
The Hymnal 1982:711

(Alternative poem? Include under ‘comment’ below.)

Oratio Conspire to respond with an act of kindness for someone you encounter today. Make it loving, low key and low risk. Hold a door, clean a car, give a flower, notice the unnoticed, make Christ’s love real. Write your experience below under ‘Comment.’

Contemplatio Enjoy what God is doing through you.

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