A print from the sixteenth century serves as an illustration of the first reading (1 Samuel, 26:2-23). Saul and David are engaged in a struggle for power. We see David running away from the tent of the sleeping king Saul with his lance and jug. He could have killed him, but limited himself to taking his lance and jug. In the background on the left David is standing on a mountain with Saul’s lance and jug in his hand. In front of him stands Saul. They speak to each other from a distance. David says, Here is your lance, king, let one of your men come and get it. The Lord had delivered you up to me today, but I did not want to touch his anointed one. Saul says, I did wrong. Come back, I will not do you any more harm, because you have shown so much respect for my life today.
The words of David and Saul just quoted show how evil can be stopped by good deeds. David saved Saul’s life out of respect for the anointed, and Saul promised David not to do evil because of the respect shown to him. In the Gospel (Luke 6: 27-38), Jesus tells us that we should not reward evil with evil, but overcome it by giving good and by forgiveness.
Pastor of this weekend: Peter van Dael SJ