I have always had a distaste for the sermon, and the homily, centered on today's readings. All too often all too many people take pride in, and enjoy, the 'outstanding' physical characteristics of Saul, forgetting the buffoonery which followed. And it happens everyday in a parish, and congregation, near you. God seeks the heart of David, and his followers fall gaga over some tall Saul with perfect facial features, or some pretty-Betty. God seeks sainthood, and men and women seek the next American Idol. God seeks quality, men and women seek quantity. God seeks love, men and women exhibit lust.
Christians forget that Saul was king for a day in his outward beauty, but Jesus is our Eternal King in His Sacred Heart.
Two kings, two visions, and we are left with one choice.
"He had a son named Saul, who was a handsome young man.
There was no other child of Israel more handsome than Saul;
he stood head and shoulders above the people." 1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1
When are we ever going to learn that a man, or a woman, is not just the sum of their physical parts? Like a hot rod without an engine, a human person without integrity, courage, compassion, and virtue is all show and no go! Sadly, we never learn. We elect Presidents because they speak fancy rhetoric, and push the race card button. We kill unborn babies so that we can keep our figure, and avoid becoming a real adult in parenthood. Real men, disfigured war heroes, are forgotten, stripped of their financial benefits, while fake heroes fill the American landscape playing boys games or singing pop songs.
When will we ever learn that scars and limitations create the strongest of men?
"Great is his glory in your victory;
majesty and splendor you conferred upon him.
For you made him a blessing forever;
you gladdened him with the joy of your face." Psalm 21:2-7
Thank God that he didn't beget a Superstar! Contrary to the whimsical musical, Jesus of Nazareth was no Saul. He was so very much more. Big burly Saul could never have withstood the flagellation of the Christ without cursing and bitching and moaning. Jesus is not only our one true Divine King, he is the One Good and True man.
But, like the scribes of the Pharisees, would we have recognized his greatness wrapped in an ordinary man?
"'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?'
Jesus heard this and said to them,
'Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.'" Mark 2:13-17
The greatest of Kings are in solidarity with their people…even the imperfect ones. The King of Kings, from heaven above, showed His transcendent greatness in becoming one of us, even to becoming a disfigured reject upon a Cross. So the next time we seek a king, or a president, or a leader, maybe, just maybe, we will look into the substance of their heart, and not just at their external presentation.
Seek Jesus among the Saul's…and the David's.