In today’s first reading, David had the chance to kill Saul. Despite Saul’s intention to hunt for him, he humbly paid him homage when they met. How many of us can face our tormentors with such grace and humility? In so doing, David earned Saul’s approval as God’s anointed successor to his throne. David gained Saul’s respect.
The two men appear to be in constant effort to be in tune with God’s will for them. They read the signs that are available to them to decipher this. Even if they were serving the same God, they had their differences. How often do we find ourselves in conflict with people who share our goals–our loved ones, our work colleagues, and our friends. And how do we treat these people? To what extent do we become like Saul, hunting down the David in our lives?
The invitation for us today is to re-consider the view we have of people who appear to make our lives harder, even our enemies. Let us then think how their goals are actually similar to ours. We might be working towards different outcomes, but what commonalities do we share? As we reflect upon this, let us echo St. Francis of Assisi’s line in his prayer for peace, which goes: “Grant that we may not so much seek to be understood, as to understand.” And with this understanding, we can treat the other with a renewed honoring and respect.