Then Jesus went up into the hill country, and called those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed Twelve to be with him, and he called them ‘apostles.’ He wanted to send them out to preach; and he gave them authority to drive out demons.
These are the Twelve: Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John his brother, to whom he gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘men of thunder’; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alpheus, Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
In the David-Goliath episode we read two days ago, some verses were omitted for the sake of brevity (1 S 17:34-36). In those verses we learn that as a shepherd David would attack any lion or bear which preyed on his sheep. This he did many times and every time at the risk of his life. Thus we saw that David was a man of strong character. But today’s episode shows him to be more than that. It shows him to be a man of noble character, ever respectful of the divine order of things and unwilling to seek personal revenge. Here he is, a man on the run with 3,000 first-class soldiers hunting him down. He can end it all with one single thrust of his sword into the heart of Saul, his arch-enemy. But he resists the temptation and lets Saul go scot-free. Even Saul has to bow before such greatness of heart: “You are right and I am wrong,” he admits in the end.
To forgive an enemy is not only to obey a strict commandment of Christ (Mt 5:43-48). It is also to escape the dreary cycle of hate and to emerge into greatness of soul.
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