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Saturday, January 19, 2008

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1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1
Psalm 21
Mark 2:13-17

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the difference

"There was no other Israelite handsomer than Saul; he stood head and shoulders above the people." —1 Samuel 9:2

Saul was the most handsome man in the entire nation of Israel. He was anointed king. This also made him the richest and most powerful man in the nation. Saul had so much going for him, yet committed suicide after years of being trapped in self-hatred (see 1 Sm 15:17), violence, and eventually the occult (see 1 Sm 28:8ff).

Levi was probably not as handsome, rich, or powerful as Saul, but he was very wealthy and influential in his position as a tax-collector. Like Saul, he was among the "shakers and the movers" in the worldly society. Like Saul, Levi was also trapped in sin. Unlike Saul, Levi did not come to a tragic end. Levi left his big job and big money to follow Jesus (Mk 2:14). The Spirit eventually inspired Levi (Matthew) to compile the opening Gospel in the New Testament. Finally, Jesus took Levi to be with Him forever in heaven.

Levi and Saul had much in common throughout their lives, but Levi ended in glory while Saul ended in despair and disgrace. The difference between these two men was repentance. Levi repented and Saul did not. That made all the difference in this world and in the next. Repent!

Prayer:  Father, may I follow Jesus now before it's too late.

Promise:  "People who are healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not the righteous." —Mk 2:17, our translation

Praise:  Daniel left his job in another state to join the volunteers of Presentation Ministries.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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