Line of succession.
The whole world is jockeying to be the top dog. I just had a conversation today with my daughter about what the word popular actually means versus what the reality is of people who claim to be 'popular'. Being 'popular' often means being mean and exclusive. In today's first reading, Saul and David are both of those, trying to be not just popular, but king. God intervenes and brings a spirit of humility and submission to the situation. They both realize that all they desire will happen in God's time but only if they follow God's commands of how to treat each other.
One more thing: Jesus also picks his 'next in line' in today's Gospel. The crown is now traded for a cross, and we are all called to carry it. St. Fabian unwittingly became pope, literally following in the line of Christ. He shunned the popular events of his day, and died a martyr's death. He exemplified the spirit of submission to God's call and wears a heavenly crown today. Being popular to the world might be tempting, but the lesson for my daughter and myself is to desire to be popular to God.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the liturgical leaders you placed here on earth for me to follow. Bless the clergy in a special way today and please touch the hearts of your people who are called to a vocation of a life lived for you. Help me to keep my eye on the prize: my heavenly crown, and to shun the temptation to do and say things that make me popular in the world's eyes. In your name I pray, Amen.
St. Fabian, pray for me.