Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, ‘Why are you also coming with us? Go back, and stay with the king; for you are a foreigner, and also an exile from your home. You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, while I go wherever I can? Go back, and take your kinsfolk with you; and may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.’ But Ittai answered the king, ‘As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.’ David said to Ittai, ‘Go then, march on.’ So Ittai the Gittite marched on, with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. The whole country wept aloud as all the people passed by; the king crossed the Wadi Kidron, and all the people moved on towards the wilderness.
Abiathar came up, and Zadok also, with all the Levites, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, until the people had all passed out of the city. Then the king said to Zadok, ‘Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and the place where it remains. But if he says, “I take no pleasure in you”, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.’ The king also said to the priest Zadok, ‘Look, go back to the city in peace, you and Abiathar, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan son of Abiathar. See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.’ So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.
But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot; and all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. David was told that Ahithophel was among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, ‘O Lord, I pray you, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.’
Hushai Becomes David’s Spy
When David came to the summit, where God was worshipped, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and earth on his head. David said to him, ‘If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, “I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant”, then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. The priests Zadok and Abiathar will be with you there. So whatever you hear from the king’s house, tell it to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. Their two sons are with them there, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan; and by them you shall report to me everything you hear.’ So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.
Today's Gospel Reading: Mark 10:46-52