The contemporary man lives with a constant doubt: “Who am I?”. Santa Terezinha tells us: “I am what God thinks of me”. And it is only possible to find out what He thinks about us in His presence. The Lord’s first call in man’s life is holiness; and to be holy is to be constantly with the Lord. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “all men are called to the same end, God Himself” (§1878). Living in the presence of the Father, He himself awakens us to the question: “What is my vocation?”. This is an answer that can only be found if we are close to the Lord, for it is He who calls us, and it is to Him that we must respond. In this context, David brings us an example of who walked in the presence of God and thus humbly responded to the Lord’s choice for his life.
In the text of 1 Samuel 16:10, we find a detail in the choice of David as King of Israel: “Jesse brought his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said: ‘The Lord chose none of these’.” The number seven in the Bible mentions perfection. Jesse brings the best he has to offer to God, but he does not call David, because he was still a boy. In human eyes, David was inappropriate to assume the reign. If we continue reading, we will see that it is not the Father who mentions David, but it is the prophet who asks: “Are all your children here?” (cf. I Sm 16.11). We can see that David was not a considerable option for his family, but as soon as Samuel saw him, he declared: “Here is the chosen one!”
Faced with this selection of the Lord, David remains a shepherd of sheep, continues to serve his father and brothers. But the way he will respond to the events of his daily life will not be the same, as he will have the help of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to him by God.
Illustration and digital painting: Thiago André Álvaro
Key point of David’s vocation
Today, when we hear about David, we see that emphasis is placed on his great reign; it is said that he was a brave and victorious warrior. But it is in his youth that we find the key point of his vocation. Since he was a boy, he was constantly in the presence of the Lord.
We do not know if David fully understood the meaning of the anointing he was given, but we can see that he did not seek God as a means of promoting himself, he did not seek to idealize the projects that the Lord would make from the anointing he received from the prophet. Our character does not create future expectations, as he has a humble heart and does not live on fantasy projections. David is dedicated to enjoying the gift the Lord has given him.
It is beautiful to see how God is the boy’s great friend . To him, David gives all honor and all merit, for he knows of his smallness and recognizes that “it was the Lord who delivered him from the clutches of the lion and the bear, and also from the hands of the Philistine Goliath” (cf. I Sm 17,37 ).
David, a worshiping man
Everything that comes after, in the life of David, is the consequence of being always in the presence of God. This is the primary vocation to which the Lord calls the little shepherd and we too. Living a life close to God is the key point for us to be able to respond, well, to the Lord’s projects that are being presented in our journey.