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All Issues > Volume 36, Issue 1

<< Friday, January 24, 2020 >> St. Francis de Sales
1 Samuel 24:3-21
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Psalm 57:2-4, 6, 11 Mark 3:13-19
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David said: "I decided, 'I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed.' " —1 Samuel 24:11

David spared Saul's life when he had a perfect chance to kill his tormentor. David was a seasoned warrior who had killed many opponents (e.g. see 1 Sm 23:5; 30:17ff). The only reason David held back his hand was because Saul carried the anointing of leadership from God. Saul had been chosen by God (1 Sm 10:1).

Jesus "summoned the men He Himself had decided on" (Mk 3:13). It wasn't that the twelve apostles were especially qualified for their position; their only qualification was that they were chosen by the Lord (Jn 15:16). Saul looked like a poor choice by God. Likewise, it often appeared that the Lord had chosen His apostles poorly. They made mistake after mistake, and at times completely failed to understand Jesus (Mk 6:52).

It's not unusual to hear people remark today that church leaders are incompetent. These leaders may seem foolish to some, but "God's folly is wiser than men, and His weakness more powerful than men" (1 Cor 1:25). God speaks through those He anointed and chose (Jn 15:16). For example, if God wishes to speak about marriage through celibate men, that doesn't make His message any less truthful. It is arrogance to assert that God is not powerful enough to lead and teach accurately through those He chooses, even those who appear unqualified.

May all God's people imitate David, who so respected God's choice of Saul that he preferred to be persecuted rather than do any harm to the Lord's anointed (1 Sm 24:14; 26:19).

Prayer: Lord, may I walk by faith in You, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).
Promise: "In the shadow of Your wings I take refuge, till harm pass by." —Ps 57:2
Praise: The impact of St. Francis de Sales cannot be overstated. His masterpiece of spiritual guidance, Introduction to the Devout Life, has emphatically influenced lay people for four centuries.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2019 through January 31, 2020.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 2, 2019.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 36, Issue 1
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