Today’s First Reading provides a striking scene of the anointing of Saul to empower his calling and role to govern the people of God. “The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage. You are to govern the LORD’s people Israel, and to save them from the grasp of their enemies roundabout.” A good leader knows his or her own people and is completely aware of their needs, assets, liabilities and even weaknesses. A poor and deficient leader is both physically and emotionally distant from the people under their charge, which leads to horrible and disastrous consequences. The same is true for the individual who knows himself or herself well enough to realize their own strengths and failings. This person is a person of integrity, and because they realize their dependence on God, they live a full, happy life.
Likewise, in today’s Gospel, there are the Scribes who were Pharisees bitterly remarking about Jesus actually socializing and eating with sinners. Since they were not men of integrity, they missed the entire significance of the actions of our Lord. “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” In order to maintain spiritual health, one must accept their own human condition. We are sinful people in need of the Good Physician who is always there for us. Self-knowledge mixed with a large helping of humility make for a great life with Jesus. We are only as sick as our secrets, and when we give everything to God, we can hope for a healthy life with Him.