This is the man of whom the Lord spoke, Saul, who will rule over his people.
A reading from the first Book of Samuel (1 Samuel 9: 1 – 4. 17-19; 1 0: 1)
There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth; and he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; from his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.” And they passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them. When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall rule over my people.” Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate, and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer; go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind.” Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies round about.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 21:2-3. 4-5.6-7 (R. 2a)
R/. In your strength, O Lord, the king rejoices
In your strength, O Lord, the king rejoices;
how greatly your salvation makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart’s desire;
you have not withheld the prayer of his lips. R/.
You came to meet him with blessings of prosperity;
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given:
days that will last from age to age. R/.
R/. In your strength, O Lord, the king rejoices.
By your saving help great is his glory;
you have bestowed upon him majesty and splendour;
you have granted him blessings forever,
made him rejoice with the joy of your presence. R/.
ALLELUIA Luke 4:18
Alleluia. The Lord has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives. Alleluia
“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 2:13- 17)
At that time: Jesus went out again beside the sea; and all the crowd gathered about him, and he taught them. And as he passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with the tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Although, the emergence of King Saul resulted from Israel’s rejection of God’s kingship, God remained in-charge of the process. The king was anointed as ruler, not owner, to represent God. Saul must be mindful of this in order to be successful. Forgetting their humble beginnings and the source of their power, kings, politicians, rulers and other privileged people, easily turn cruel and over bearing. Humble beginnings also mark our very lives as Christian disciples, mere sinners, sought out by Christ, redeemed and granted the great privileges of discipleship and as children of God. All must be faithful to these privileges by working for and under God. Lord, empower us for service to you and your people. Amen