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Sunday, 21 December 2014

On Today's Readings part one

The first reading for today from Second Samuel shows us how much David loved God. But, as a "man of war", a man who had to subjugate the enemies of the Hebrews and bring order into the Kingdom, David was not chosen by God to build a physical temple.

That was left to his son, God's chosen one, a king who presided over a peaceful kingdom.

One of the lessons for us in this passage is that we must calm our own warlike instincts before building the space God wants us to have in order to meet us-St. Catherine's little cell.

God came to Jerusalem in a great presence, the Shekinah glory, and resided in the Temple. He comes to us in baptism and if we are trained in the virtues, even young ones can open their hearts, minds, soul.

David had a heart most like God's, but God chose Solomon to build the temple. God chooses the persons He wants to do certain works.

Yesterday, I saw a letter from St. Ignatius in a museum. I had seen this letter before at an exhibit years ago in Valletta. It is heartening for those of us who want to do things or think God is calling us to do things to know that some of the saints could not accomplish some plans. Do not think that everything went smoothly in their lives according to their plans.

St Ignatius wanted to come to Malta and could not. Catholics sometimes think that when God plans something, it always happens, but men, politics, wars, governments, thwart God's perfect plans as we all have free will.

God's permissive will allows us to make decisions and our will is sacred to Him, as that is how we are made in His image and likeness-one way.

Some people think God's perfect will always happens. It does not. God had raised David to be His king, but David had to win that kingdom for God.

Perhaps if he had not been called to be such a great warrior, which he was, he would have been called to build, but he was not.

God's plans are mysterious.

All my plans were changed this morning by a small cell phone alarm. Things happen.

An accident on the bus changed my plans several days ago, and a map on line which was wrong changed my plans yesterday as well.

Men's mistakes and mishaps change plans.

But, God had a plan for Israel. He wanted David to unite the country and leave it in peace, and He wanted Solomon to build on that peace.

Jerusalem -City of Peace.

Then, the temple.....

One learns to listen and to follow God daily. One learns to be flexible within God's order.

God promised a "house" for David.

But, of course, David's House is the House of Christ, the Son of David, in the line of the kings.

And, Christ came during the Pax Romana, the time of certain peace because of the rule of the empire.

Here is the entire section from the Bible on David's promise and disappointment. Of course, the promise is that of the Coming of Christ.

from Second Samuel:7 NRSVCE

God’s Covenant with David

Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.”Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders[a] of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lorddeclares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. 15 But I will not take[b] my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me;[c] your throne shall be established forever. 17 In accordance with all these words and with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

David’s Prayer

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God; you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the people,[d] O Lord God20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it. 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.23 Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another[e] nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them,[f] by driving out[g] before his people nations and their gods?[h] 24 And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people forever; and you, O Lord, became their God. 25 And now, OLord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised. 26 Thus your name will be magnified forever in the saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel’; and the house of your servant David will be established before you.27 For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house’; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant;29 now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”