From a Creighton Student's Perspective
January 17, 2012
Freshman, Undecided Major, Pre-Med
In sports, there are occasions when a very strong, talented team is beaten, or upset, by a less talented one. When I think about today’s first reading from the book of 1 Samuel, I think that this must have been one of the biggest upsets in the entire Bible. We hear the story of the prophet Samuel, who is searching for the new King of Israel, and when Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab, comes forward, Samuel believes he has found God’s chosen one. But God reminds Samuel that looks can be deceiving. In the end, it is David, the youngest son of Jesse who is the Lord’s anointed.
I think there are two important things we can take away from this reading. First, God does not judge mankind the same way we do. If he did, David would have never been anointed. Rather, God judges based on the heart. This is why in Matthew, Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” In much the same way, we should not judge one another based on the world’s standards. The world judges us on how we look, how we dress, and what we own, but the First Reading reminds us that God will judge us on how we have formed our hearts and how well we lived according to our consciences. With this in mind, we should not worry about what others see when they look at us. Instead, we need to remain focused only on what God sees when he looks at us. Are we faithful to him? Are we humble? Do we thank God for the blessings he bestows on us each day? Do we make time each day for prayer? As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminds us, “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.”
The second key point I think we can take away from this reading is that Samuel goes to Bethlehem to find the new King of Israel. I do not think it is any coincidence that Jesus, too, came from Bethlehem. In Hebrew, the name Bethlehem literally means “house of bread.” How perfect the image is, that Jesus Christ, Savior of the World, the Bread of Life, was born in the “house of bread,” and was laid in a manger where animals come to eat, where he was adored by peasants and kings alike. In much the same way, we are called to the Eucharistic Feast of Heaven and Earth, the Mass, where we, too, receive the Bread of Eternal Life which truly is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. It may only look like a piece of unleavened bread, but we are reminded, “Not as man sees does God see because he sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” God transcends physical appearance, in order that we might adore him, receive him, become one with him, and live forever with him.
O come, let us adore Christ the Lord, who is the Eternal King.
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