Today’s Scriptures can both be viewed as instructions. David gives final instructions to Solomon, and Jesus gives the “rules of the road” to his disciples. Each in their own way tries to give information about being a “follower.”
The lectionary gives us the first part of David’s instructional speech. The second part is anything but edifying as he asks his son to revenge the wrongdoings of his enemies. We can, however, find words of wisdom in the first part of his instruction as he tells his son to walk in God’s ways and keep God’s statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the Law of Moses. Once again, the theme of these histories is emphasized as David repeats the claim that such actions on Solomon’s part will keep him in right relationship with God.
Much of Jesus’ instructions to his apostles is concerned with following in his own footsteps. He trusts them with the very message that he has been preaching and equips them with the same powers that he has been displaying. However, there is also a note of caution that they are refrain from using the message and his powers for their own benefit. God’s word is to be freely given. They are not to go looking for the most comfortable bed and the most plentiful table.
We have the advantage over both Solomon and the apostles. For the most part, they had to take their own counsel and act on their own wisdom. We, on the other hand, have Jesus and the Holy Spirit with us always and everywhere. Both the words of Jesus and the counsel of the Holy Spirit are tools that we can use in spreading the Good News.
The table of the Lord offers us sustenance for our journey as we seek to continue the work and the preaching of Jesus. We are blessed indeed.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator