First Reading: 1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23

A reading from the first book of Samuel.

Saul went off down to the desert of Ziph with an army of three thousand selected from the ranks of Israel, to search for David in the desert of Ziph.  So David and Abishai went among Saul’s soldiers by night and found Saul lying asleep within the barricade.  With his spear thrust into the ground at his head and Abner and his soldiers sleeping around him,

Abishai whispered to David: “God has delivered your enemy into your grasp this day.  Let me nail him to the ground with one thrust of the spear.  I will not need to strike twice!”  But David said to

Abishai, “Do not harm Saul, for who can lay hands on Yahweh’s anointed and remain unpunished?”

So David took the spear and the water jug from their place at Saul’s head, and they got away without anyone’s seeing or knowing or awakening.  All remained asleep, because Yahweh had put them into a deep slumber.

Going across to an opposite slope, David stood on a remote hilltop at a great distance from Abner (descendant of Ner) and the troops.  David said: “Here is the king’ s spear.  Let an attendant come to get it.  Yahweh will reward all according to their justice and faithfulness.  Today, though God delivered you into my grasp, I would not harm Yahweh’s anointed.”

The Word of God recorded in the book of the prophet Samuel.


Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103

R: Our God is kind and merciful.

Bless Our God, my soul,

bless God’s holy Name, all that is in me

Bless Our God, my soul,

and remember all God’s kindnesses.

R: Our God is kind and merciful.

In forgiving all Your offenses,

in curing all Your diseases,

In redeeming Your life from the Pit,

in crowning You with love and tenderness.

R: Our God is kind and merciful.

Our God is tender and compassionate,

slow to anger, most loving;

Our God never treats us, never punishes us

as our guilt and our sins deserve.

R: Our God is kind and merciful.

Humans last no longer than grass,

live no longer than the wildflower;

One gust of wind, and they are gone,

never to be seen again.

R: Our God is kind and merciful.