Read 1 Samuel 9:1-4,17-19,10:1, Ps. 21:2-7, Mark 2:13-17

“Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said, ‘Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel?’” (1 Samuel 10:1)

Do you believe in the concept of coincidence (or luck)? In today’s first reading, Saul met Samuel while searching for his father’s missing livestock. Saul had no idea that his life was going to change forever. What did Saul do to deserve the anointing he received? Nothing. He didn’t even know who Samuel was. He probably was not aware God was looking for a king for Israel. He was just at the right place at the right time.

Again, in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus met Levi (also known as Matthew). Levi probably heard about Jesus but went to work as usual that day. There were many streets in Israel, but Jesus passed in front of the tax office, and of all the other tax collectors on duty, Jesus picked Levi. What did Levi do to deserve this? Nothing. Many persons felt even scandalised seeing Jesus eat with Levi and his friends.

One word that perfectly describes unmerited favour is GRACE. It is God answering the prayers we never said, connecting us with people we never dreamt of, taking us to heights we never knew, and filling us with riches we never worked for. Your life can change in just one day.

A single post you made on social media may catapult you to stardom. In less than twenty-four hours, the whole world is talking about you. These are moments of grace. Those who fail to make the most of such moments live in regret. As the saying goes, “Lightning does not strike the same spot twice.” This brings us to our lessons today:

1. Be Prepared for Unmerited Favour: Develop a positive mindset. Expect the best to happen. When leaving your house, believe that today will be your lucky day.

2. Be Nice to Everyone You Meet: Life is hard; everyone is dealing with something. This is why you should smile and show kindness to strangers. Imagine if Saul was rude to Samuel (perhaps due to the frustration of looking for the donkeys). You never can tell who God has sent to bless you.

3. Believe in The Power of Sacramentals: Saul became king the moment Samuel anointed him. Not everything can be explained by science. Say your prayers. Wear a scapular or a rosary wherever you go. These blessed items are powerful.

4. Avoid Negativity: Avoid condemning others based on hearsay (mere speculations). Jesus was happy to eat with tax collectors not because He approved their sins but because He knew this would bring them to the light. Do not label anyone as good-for-nothing.

5. Be a Blessing to Someone: Decide to do something extraordinary for one person today. As God told Samuel to bless Saul, and as Jesus’ gaze fell on Levi, listen to that voice within you. Pick someone and bless them for no reason, then tell them to ‘pay it forward.’

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, in my moments of grace, may I not be found wanting. Help me to live up to the demands of my anointing. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 1 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 1 Samuel 9:1-4,17-19,10:1, Ps. 21:2-7, Mark 2:13-17).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu