Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church  

1Sm 24:3-21; Ps 57:2-4,6,11; Mk 3:13-19

Today and every day we pray for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life in our land and throughout the world.   We pray that the LORD send from heaven and saves us that the LORD will send us his mercy and his faithfulness.  Even as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, we exalt his Name above the heavens and above all the earth his glory.  Indeed, the mercy of the LORD towers to the heavens and his faithfulness to the skies.  Still, we pray: “Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.” Without fear of any opposition, without fear of stumbling, Saint Francis de Sales spoke the truth in love to his brothers and sisters in Geneva.  His bold and brilliant witness turned many hearts back to the old faith, the Catholic faith.  Like King David, Saint Francis knew that the friend of sinners, Jesus the Lord, had his best interests in mind.  Jonathan protected his friend David, and the Lord Jesus protected his friend Saint Francis.  Even when the enemy cried out to discredit Saint Francis there was no fear, only more trust.  This same heroic trust is not impossible for us today.  Quite simply put, trust is the only thing that worked and continues to work even now.


Even with a thousand picked men King Saul could not protect himself against the truth that his faithful servant David proclaimed at the mouth of the cave.  Indeed the mighty lord of Israel was powerless to capture and destroy the True King.  More than once David had the opportunity to capture and kill the King who pursued a dead dog or a single flea in the desert.  The LORD, who had anointed him through the Prophet Samuel, deposed King Saul already.  He had been an unfaithful king and the LORD had sought a faithful son in the shepherd boy David.  In this account of his flight from King Saul, David reveals his faithful heart.  Even though he had the advantage over Saul, David only cut his cloak and not his neck.  Such kindness broke the heart of the king.  Saul trembled and wept aloud saying to David, “Is that your voice, my son David?”  Saul realized in this moment of mercy the very hand of the LORD was upon David and that soon he would be king.  Indeed, King Saul was truly shaken by the faithfulness of David to his king.  This was a faithfulness that King Saul did not have in relationship with The LORD, his God.  When the soldiers began to abandon their king, Saul took the place and role of prophet and priest.  Instead of waiting in obedience for the Prophet Samuel to offer the sacrifice for the soldiers preparing for battle, the King acted in fear.  The anointed one of the LORD was rebellious and abandoned trust.  However, the LORD did not abandon his people.  He sent his obedient son, his faithful servant, David.  King David was chosen because he was a man after God’s own heart.  Even in his sin, King David turned back to the LORD and repented.  This kind of faithfulness is only a hint of the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus who is the true and eternal King of Kings.


From the mountain of prayer the Lord Jesus summoned those whom he wanted.  He summoned; he did not invite, or ask, or even request.  The Lord summoned.  He spoke with a voice of power, a convincing voice, a spirit-filled voice.  These Twelve Apostles were summoned to be with him and to be sent forth from him.  They would not be sent forth until they understood the urgency of the Good News, so that they would totally unite their voices with his Word.  Then these Apostles would also summon all who heard to the Kingdom of God.  They also had to learn how to drive out demons; this they would find possible only by great prayer and fasting.  Their lives would never be the same.  Everything would change.  The thunder in their voices would not be simply a matter of anger or self-centered disappointment.  The sound of their Apostolic appeal would now summon to following Christ and commanding evil to depart.  Even the one who betrayed him would, in God’s passive will, provide a necessary service—arranging for the arrest and trial of the Lord Jesus.  The shock of betrayal for the Lord Jesus and especially for the other Apostles must have hurt beyond measure.  How could anyone betray the King of kings, the Lord of lords?  Perhaps he was never summoned or never responded.  Perhaps we need to ask ourselves this question have I been summoned, and more importantly, have I ever responded?  It’s not so easy to be in the middle of the road, unresponsive to the Lord Jesus, when it comes to our witness to the value of every human life from natural beginning to natural end.