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.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Holy Spirit

Daily Readings
Psalm 105:1-22 + I Samuel 15:34-16:23 + Judith 12 + Hebrews 9

Quote of the Day
For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24

Daily Text: I Samuel 16:11-18, 21, 23

11Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here." 12He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one." 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
14 Now the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. 15And Saul's servants said to him, "See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skillful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better." 17So Saul said to his servants, "Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me." 18One of the young men answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the LORD is with him." 21And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 23And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

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

Holy Spirit
There are two traditions reflected in this passage, the oldest having to do with David coming to court as a musician and the armor bearer for the king. The other tradition is that of David’s annointing to be king by Samuel. Neither is known to the other. The first mentioned may have been from court materials describing Saul’s kingship, the second from Davidic materials. The next chapter, 17, has David coming to visit the army and at one point being fitted into Saul’s armor as if he had never seen it, and had no knowledge of it, simply discovering that it was too big! Not only that, but he seems to be unknown to Saul in chapter 17. Assuming both traditions to be acceptable, it would seem that the David and Goliath story preceded in time his coming to court as Saul’s musician and armor-bearer

The chief elements in chapter 16 are those of the annointing of David (and Saul) and the coming (and going) of the Spirit of God—in Christian terms, the Holy Spirit. Saul was anointed and was given the spirit of God (ch. 10), but now he not only loses the spirit of the LORD, but an evil spirit rushes in. Here’s where David comes in. He is recommended because he is “a man of good presence; and the LORD is with him” vss. 18, 19! Saul doesn’t know the background, but we do, for we know that Samuel has anointed him to be the next king and that in some way, the spirit of LORD’s coming to him is related to the spirit’s departing from Saul. The Spirit of the LORD continues to direct Israel. He has not, and will not abandon his people, although the ones through whom he works may change.

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

The Call of DavidJohn Henry Newman

…and the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him for this is he.”—I Samuel xvi.12

Latest born of Jesse’s race,
Wonder lights thy bashful face,
While the prophet’s gifted oil
Seals thee for a path of toil.
We, thy angels circling round thee,
Ne’er shall find thee as we found thee,
When thy faith first brought us near,
In thy lion-fight severe.

Go! and mid thy flocks awhile
At thy doom of greatness smile;
Bold to bear God’s heaviest load,
Dimly guessing of the road,--
Rocky road, and scarce ascended,
Though thy foot be angel-tended!

Twofold praise thou shalt attain
In royal court and battle-plain:
Then come heart-ache, care, distress,
Blighted hope and loneliness,
Wounds from friend, and gifts from foe,
Dizzied faith, and guilt and woe,
Loftiest aims by earth defiled,
Gleams of wisdom, sin-beguiled,
Sated power’s tyrannic mood,
Counsels shared with men of blood.
Sad success, parental tears,
And a dreary gift of years.

Strange that guileless face and form,
To lavish on the scarring storm!
Yet we take thee in thy blindness,
And we buffet thee in kindness;
Little chary of thy fame,--
Dust unborn may bless or blame,--
But we mould thee for the root
Of man’s promised healing Fruit,
And we mould thee hence to rise
As our brother in the skies.

(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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