December 13th. SAMUEL. Read 1 Samuel 1-3 and later parts of the book. Samuel’s mother, Hannah was childless and mocked by her husband’s other wife. Once in the temple Hannah was praying in her distress and the prophet Eli saw her and thought she was drunk. After she explained he gave her God’s blessing and promised her a son. After the boy Samuel’s early years she offered him to the Lord and he went to live in the temple with the prophet Eli. One night when he was sleeping he heard a voice calling him. He thought it was Eli but discovered it was God and replied, “Here I am Lord, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3. Samuel remained in the temple and grew up to be a good and wise prophet, guiding the political leaders of the time. The people had begun to demand a king like other local tribes but Samuel worried that a king would become power-hungry. Eventually with God’s guidance he helped to establish the kingdom and anointed Saul as God’s first choice for king and later after Saul was rejected he was led to seek out and anoint David.

Pope Francis: If every action has its consequences an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. EG 59.  For Reflection and Discussion. There were two schools of thought about establishing Israel as a kingdom. Up to that time God had been their king. How is a monarchy regarded today? How important is it for political leaders to have wise counsellors?