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Saturday, January 22, 2000

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St. Vincent

2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27
Psalm 80
Mark 3:20-21

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a miracle of unselfishness

"David seized his garments and rent them, and all the men who were with him did likewise. They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan." —2 Samuel 1:11-12

David had experienced a very eventful week. Ziklag, the city in which David resided, had been "burned to the ground" by the Amalekites (1 Sm 30:3). The wives, sons, and daughters of David and his followers had been taken captive (1 Sm 30:3). "David found himself in great difficulty, for the men spoke of stoning him, so bitter were they over the fate of their sons and daughters" (1 Sm 30:6). Nonetheless, David led his followers on an exhausting march in pursuit of the Amalekites (1 Sm 30:10). He overtook them, miraculously defeated them, and recovered everyone and everything (1 Sm 30:18-19).

After this series of traumatic events, a messenger informed David that King Saul and his son, Jonathan, had been killed in a battle against the Philistines. Naturally, David was preoccupied with his own concerns, and considering that Saul had tried to kill David on several occasions, you would think that David would get some satisfaction from Saul's death or at least be relieved by it. However, David mourned deeply not only for the death of his friend, Jonathan, but even for the death of his enemy, Saul (see 2 Sm 1:11ff). David's mourning was a miracle of unselfishness, which prefigured the unselfish, crucified, holy love Jesus has made possible for us to have in the new covenant. Be holy as He is holy (1 Pt 1:16).

Prayer:  Father, may I look to others' interests rather than my own (Phil 2:4).

Promise:  "Rouse Your power, and come to save us." —Ps 80:3

Praise:  St. Vincent's courage under the tortures of his martyrdom converted his jailer to Christianity.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999