Have you ever feared for your life? Today we read of David’s well-founded fear.
As our reading opens, King Saul is plotting ways to kill young David, the close friend of his son Jonathan. Aware that death is but a step away, David flees from the royal court to his family in Bethlehem, intentionally staying away from the banquet of the new moon festival. Jonathan assures David that he will watch carefully for Saul’s reaction to David’s absence.
They hatch an elaborate plot with Jonathan shooting arrows and sending a young boy to retrieve them. If Jonathan calls for the boy to look further ahead for arrows, it will signal David to escape from Saul’s murderous wrath. Indeed, the message is that the king continues to seek David’s death. So Jonathan and David bid one another a tearful farewell.
Our reading reminds us of the shortness and fragility of our own lives. We admire the ingenuity with which Jonathan and David find a way to spare David’s life. And we also recall how Jesus repeatedly warned his disciples that his time with them on earth would be brief. Each new day is for us a gift from God to be treasured and savoured.
Thank you, divine Protector, for your watchfulness over me. Amen. — JG