In today’s first reading from 1 Samuel 16, we read about the anointing of David. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Mark 2, Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about why his disciples are picking grain on the sabbath, something which was prohibited by the law. Jesus tells them, “The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Time and again in the Scriptures, and in our own lives, too, we see that God is a God of surprises. He sometimes does things completely opposite of what we would think He should do, or of what we expect Him to do. Such is the case in today’s first reading. God tells Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons. One by one the sons of Jesse come before the prophet. They are strong, upstanding men; any of them would make a fine king. But God does not pick any of the usual suspects. Why? “Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.”
If only we could do the same. We're so good at judging books by their covers. We are so intrigued by appearances. Good looking people who dress well and run in the right social circles seem to be favored by God, don’t they? But that isn’t necessarily the case. God doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about outward appearances. He cares about what’s in our heart. Let’s make sure that our heart is pleasing to God, rather than our hair style or our clothes. And let's stop "judging books by their covers."
Father, teach us to stop worrying so much about the outside, and to concentrate on our hearts. And give us the vision to see past the exterior of a person; to look into their hearts. Amen.
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