When King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.” But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in? “‘It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Who isn’t able to identify with King David? His weaknesses and his strengths are ours. He defeated Goliath; yet he is also the one who killed Uriah. His moments of special blessing by the Lord seem equally matched by his ability to forget the Lord’s favor and act on his own, woefully mistaken initiative. In today’s reading, he impulsively offers to build a house of dwelling for the Lord—a worthy and noble initiative. But it is not the initiative which God wants. God will build his own dwelling place and God doesn’t need David to do it.
In this season of Christmas, we see the culmination of God’s plans to build Himself a dwelling. He doesn’t use timber or stone, but human flesh. He dwells in a human person, Jesus the Christ. In so doing, God has saved the world and given all of us wandering, stumbling fools—sons of David—the hope that one day we might all dwell in the fullness of God’s presence. Come Lord Jesus!
—Kevin Dyer, SJ, Regis Jesuit High School
People of God, do not be afraid.
Today you know that the Lord will come,
and in the morning you shall see God’s glory!—The Jesuit Prayer Team Please share the Good Word with your friends!