In today’s first reading, 1 Samuel 24: 3-21, Saul with 3000 warriors goes out “in the direction of the wild goat crags searching for David to kill him. They come to “the sheepfolds along the way,…found a cave, which [Saul] entered…David and his men were occupying the inmost recesses of the cave.” According to the letter of the law, David could have killed Saul that day but didn’t. David, who cuts off the end of Saul’s mantle, says to his men, who are encouraging him to put an end to Saul’s life: “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, as to lay a hand on him, for he is the Lord’s anointed.”
What would you do if someone were out to kill you? Spare his life or take it in self-defense? Sometimes we are highly critical of those who spare the other’s life when, in fact, the intent of the other is to commit murder, not just of one person but thousands! Many times we want revenge! Kill them, we say. Do away with them. This is the rhetoric we hear, even today, from some of those running for the office of president. Unknowingly, this is the intent of those who say that every woman has a right to decide the life of the child in her womb!
We need to learn to live the spirit of the law from King David and the ways to ensure right decisions from Jesus, who spends the night in prayer before choosing his apostles, men who will cast out demons and spread the good news of the Gospel throughout the world! May we, Lord, cast out the demons that lure us to choose to kill for our convenience, revenge, hatred or prejudice.