2 Samuel 5:1-7,10
In the first reading from Samuel, a phrase, directed at David, stood out for me as I pondered this passage: ‘You shall be shepherd of my people, Israel’. It is a clear call to leadership as a shepherd. For a soldier, a warrior, it is a strange command. Shepherding, surely, requires a different set of skills, and a different mindset. And yet, the elders came to King David and anointed him as King of Israel, because they wanted shepherd leadership. It is true, that they went on to conquer Jerusalem, nevertheless, it was the desire for shepherd leadership that created unity. I wonder what sort of leadership we look for today and do we recognize and acclaim shepherd leadership. Certainly, most of us would recognise the leadership of Pope Francis in this way.
Similarly, the Gospel picks up contradictory themes. Jesus, going about, doing good, is seen as the evil one. A strange comparison, indeed. This prompted me to think about how we regard those who are different in our lives. Do we recognise good, or do we judge motives? Do we celebrate the success of others or knock down the tall poppies? These two confronting passages of scripture provide much food for thought today.
Margaret Bentley is a Salesian Sister and is currently the Academic Manager at the English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM) begun by the Passionists in 2014 to enable their students to learn English before continuing to the Novitiate or theological studies.