This week our first reading comes from the Book of Samuel. The narrative tells us of the story of Samuel being sent to Jesse in Bethlehem where he will find the one that God has chosen to be King of Israel. Jesse presents Samuel with his seven sons. “The Lord has not chosen any of these,” Samuel announces. After enquiring, Samuel finds that Jesse has one more son, David. David is the youngest and the smallest of the sons of Jesse. “Come anoint him, for this is the one,” says Samuel.
As is so often the case in the Scriptures, God chooses those who are small, young, ill-prepared, unable to speak eloquently or on the outer, to be his voice. If Israel wants a King, he will not be a King like other nations. God has other plans for the world.
And God has plans for us too. Often those plans arrive when we least expect them. God often takes us by surprise and we find ourselves in the position where we are presented with the opportunity to offer someone comfort or advice; say a few words when we were not prepared; to go somewhere with someone; to change our plans at the last minute; to find ourselves doing a job or in a role we did not expect. The Spirit of God is free and moves where it will. As Christians we gradually learn, over time, to be open to the movements and promptings of the Spirit. We all need to continue to learn the art of discernment. What am I really being called to in my life at the moment? What am I called to let go of in my life? This is true for all of us, from the youngest to the oldest.
This week I buried a 94 year old man who was one of the wisest people I have ever met. Last week I asked a group of Year One students (six and seven year olds), to tell me about the gospel passage of the man born blind. Their responses were amazing and I learned something about life and faith from them. God is not limited in those through whom he chooses to speak and reveal God-self.
This year across our parishes we will provide the opportunity for our school families to be involved in a parish Sunday Mass once a term in a formal way. These Masses are coming up in the next couple of weeks. It is important for us as a parish community to open our doors to the young children in our parish. Like David, they are precious and anointed in the eyes of God. We should make room for them in our community, encourage their participation and listen to the wisdom of innocence and youth among us. For they too are made in the image and likeness of God.
The psalm for this weekend is “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.” In the context of the readings for the weekend, the psalm is a reminder that the Lord does not call us to a new beginning and then abandon us. No. The Lord shepherds us through the things to which we are called, young and old alike. As we find ourselves doing the unexpected (Godly) things this week let us also be reassured with the words of the psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”
By Fr Brendan Reed
Let we older in age parishioners learn from the children and youth.As we welcome them warmly let us learn from them. Ask them what they know, feel, desire, learn and hope to innovate as they learn.
Do not presume we adults have to impart our views and knowledge.let us ask poem questions and listen.
Thank you Father Brendan