The Lord has a beautiful way of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. Observing this continuous pattern throughout the Bible should bring us great peace and comfort. He always uses the least of us in glorious ways. Consider David in today’s first reading–he was the least of his brothers, not seen or thought of as worthy to be king, even by Samuel, the priest who came to Jesse of Bethlehem to find a king. Samuel looked at each of David’s brothers first, before seeking David.
“The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
Then Samuel asked Jesse,
“Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.” —Samuel 16:1–13
David was the humblest of his brothers, and the Lord recognized this. In this world, we all strive to be seen and given recognition. We are upset when passed over for a promotion or a job. We are often left degraded after a break-up, especially if someone else has broken up with us. Siblings often quarrel with each other, trying to get their parents’ attention and when one sibling gets a better deal, the other siblings feel less worthy.
If we allow our lives to be judged based on earthly matters, we will always fall short. It is in the Lord that we receive our true worth for He sees us for everything we are and loves us just that way. The Lord will never judge us as the world does. What the world considers important is not really important at all. David was a shepherd and became king. Jesus was born in a stable and was the Messiah.
It is easy to become lost in the “important” things of the world. The Pharisees in the gospel reading were so focused on the laws the disciples of Jesus were breaking that they could not see who was standing right in front of them. Placing our desires on worldly goods and/or expectations takes us further away from the Lord. Just as the Lord sees us for who we truly are, we must also strive to see the Lord for who He really is.
The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath. —Mark 2:28
Look to the Lord in everything you do. He will reveal to you “the way, the truth and the life.”
One thought on “The Shepherd”
Thank you for your insights on the first reading. David became such a powerful figure in the Old Testament–not only as a ruler, but as a writer of the psalms–that I often forget he was “the least” of his brothers. He was not a perfect king, of course, but in many ways, he can serve as inspiration for us, giving us hope to aspire to be more than we feel we are. And he was a precursor to the Messiah, also born to simple and humble people. The kingship of Jesus was truly not of this world.