The scriptures for mass today are totally awesome. The first reading from the book of Samuel is so full of joy, that you can’t help but feel happy after you read it. King David brought the ark of the Lord to the City of David. David danced before the ark of the Lord with abandon, during the procession that carried the ark into the city. It was a huge celebration, the likes of which may not have ever been seen since. Can you imagine a king dancing in the streets, with shouts of joy and trumpets blowing? The leaders of our nations, and our church too, are way too dignified to do something like that. But, it was a different time and place back then.
Things seemed to calm down a bit when King David brought the ark to it’s resting place in the tent and then made peace offerings before the Lord. King David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. That alone made it a joyous occasion, but not only did King David dance with abandon before the ark of the Lord, he also loved his people with abandon as well. He really out did himself, by sending dinner home for every single man and woman in Israel. He threw a dinner for the entire nation! Each one received a cut of roast meat, a loaf of bread, and dessert too, in the form of a raisin cake. What an end to a totally awesome event. Every single person in Israel surely went to to bed in peace that night, with a heart full of joy, a heart full of love. No wonder God loved David so much. No wonder that Jesus Christ became his descendant. Can you even begin to image the leader of a nation doing this in modern times? It might be kind of like the pope feeding a hot meal to all of the people who gather at St. Peter’s Square. What an expense, but what a party it must have been.
Doesn’t the first reading for mass today make you feel at least a little happier, just reading these words? Especially if you imagine the scene in your mind, as you read it? Words matter. Words have the power to bring love, peace and joy into the world. We should remember to be mindful of our words. They can build people up, or tear them down.
King David set the example in another way as well, in today’s first reading. King David loved God and he loved his people with all of his heart, his mind, and his resources. He didn’t hold anything back. King David’s actions backed up his words. He showed his love for God and for his people, with concrete actions, the joy of which reverberates throughout the centuries, to this day. And this leads us right on into today’s gospel …
Jesus said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” He looked around at the people who surrounded him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” It seems that Jesus had the same sentiment in his heart that King David did in today’s first reading for mass. He had a heart full of love for all those gathered around him.
But, it is important to make note of the words Jesus spoke, that “whoever does the will of God” is his brother, sister and mother. Warm, loving sentiments are not enough. Feelings alone are not enough, and just words are not enough either. We must do God’s will. Many people struggle with what God’s will is for their lives. Sometimes God’s will comes in small inspirations throughout the day. Tip the waitress just a little bit more for good service, send a get well card to someone who is seriously ill, give a stranger a dollar for the bus fare or because they are short a dollar in the grocery check out line. Put your items back in the right place in the grocery store, because it will make someone else’s life a little easier. There are countless little ways to listen to God’s voice in our hearts.
However, like King David, there are sometimes bigger things that God also asks of us. Don’t shy away from them. He wouldn’t seriously prompt you to do it, without giving you the means to do so. As a young shepherd boy tending his sheep, David probably could not have ever imagined the huge celebration that occurred in the first reading for mass today either. What a joyful thing it was. David and the entire nation of Israel, was very grateful that David not only listened for God’s will in his life, but also acted on it. This is what we are called to do as well. The future could hold some wonderful surprises, if we listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit throughout our lives and then take some sort of concrete actions about it.
Daily Mass Readings:
2 Sm 6: 12b-15, 17-19 / Ps 24: 7, 8, 9, 10 / Mk 3: 31-35