20th February 2022

Dear Parishioner

The pairing of the story of David and Saul with the passage from Luke's sermon on the plain is interesting. One can see the Old Testament story as being about not exacting revenge on one who seeks to harm you, yet there is much more to it than that.

Abishai sees the situation in a very straightforward way. Saul is out to kill David - that is a problem; Saul is surprisingly found unprotected and asleep: the solution to the 'problem' is to kill the sleeping king - problem solved.

David has a different perspective; his concern is that Saul is the Lord's anointed (literally Christ in Greek). That means to strike Saul is to strike out at God. David restrains Abishai and takes the water vessel to show Saul that he is not an enemy of the king.

What is a fairly particular incident in the book of Samuel is broadened almost out of recognition in Luke's gospel. 'I say to you do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you'. And the examples and injunctions continue to an extraordinary extent. Jesus' words go so far beyond the teaching of the Law, and so far beyond what seem in any way reasonable, and yet one cannot avoid their thrust. The enemies Jesus' hearers would have had - like ours today - would not be the anointed king of Israel, and yet they are to be treated as such. Jesus' words in Luke's Gospel are arresting because they imply the extraordinary dignity and value of even the most benighted opponent we might encounter - and simply because God is kind to the ungrateful as well as the grateful. Jesus' command seems extremely extravagant - that is why the reward for those who carry it out is equally extravagant: 'a full measure, pressed down shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap!'

Fr Jijo George


Please remember to pray for:

Daily for the sick clergy of our Diocese

The sick and housebound

Those who have recently died

Years Mind:
Monday: Deacon Sidney Lewis
Wednesday: Deacon Dwight Hayter
Thursday: Canon Aloysius Roche, Fr Gerard Murphy
Saturday: Mgr Canon Jules van Meenen, Fr Clifford Beercroft
Sunday: Fr David Chapman