I have always been intrigued by David’s ascension to the throne. The prophet Samuel comes and anoints him as King. After that Samuel returns home and David goes back to living his life as a shepherd boy, as though nothing ever happened. What initially brought David to the royal courts of Saul was the “evil spirit” that was vexing Saul. The breakthrough for the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose came through the affliction of an evil spirit. We see that even though the plans of God may not take place at the pace we expect, no one, not even the powers of darkness can stand in His way. In fact, the obstacles become the means that God uses to fulfil His purpose. David’s journey to the throne was arduous. Today’s first reading alludes to this journey. We meet David today at a time when the promises of God made through Samuel have been fulfilled and the Lord has given him rest from his enemies.
In today’s first reading we see David desiring to establish a house for God. However, instead of David establishing the house of God, what happens is that God establishes the house of David. It would not be like the royal house of Saul but will be a dynasty that would go beyond the lifetime of David. We can never outgive God.
For many generations after David, there was a King who was of his seed on the throne at Jerusalem. Despite them not being the most faithful of people, the promise made to David flowed from one gen-eration to another. Like David, if we live for God’s purpose, we will be passing something more than our genes to the generations that follow us. The blessing of God upon our lives will flow to our children and their children and their children’s children.
In today’s Gospel proclamation we meet the Blessed Mother at a time when the people of God seemed to have lost the way of life that God promised to David. The person who renovated and made the Temple a magnificent edifice was not a descendant of David, but Herod the great, who was an Edomite, not even a Jew. The one who was ruling over the Jews was not a descendant of David, but Caesar, who was a Gentile. The chief priest who was chosen had to be someone ac¬ceptable to the Romans. The Jews looked forward to the coming of a Messiah, who would restore the way of life God desired for them. They believed that he would be a powerful King like David, overthrow the Romans and re-establish proper temple worship.
In today’s Gospel reading we see divine intervention in the obscure town of Nazareth, not in the Holy City of Jerusalem where all the ac¬tion was taking place. God starts to fulfil his plan in secret, just like how it was with David. Just because we don’t see God answering our heartcry, it does not mean He is not answering it. He is doing it in a place that is not visible to us. That is why we thank him even when there does not seem to be an apparent answer. The Angel Gabriel encounters the Blessed Mother and reiterates the promises made to David. Even if the circumstances of the Jews have changed, the promise remains valid. My circumstances do not change who God is.
The Angel reveals many things about the child to be born. That He will be Great, that He will sit on the throne of His father David, that His Kingdom will spread to the ends of the earth, that his reign will never end. As we look back at these promises it is clear that every one of them was fulfilled. Yet, during his life time it certainly did not seem that He would be the Messiah they hoped for. The promises seemed most unlikely when they brought down the body of Jesus and laid Him in a tomb. It seemed that everything was over. Yet the Gospel of Luke tells this about the Blessed Mother. “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. “ Luke 1:45. She believed when she had no reason to. Just as much as the Jews seemed to have lost the way of life God desired for them, we too believe that we have lost the way of life God intended for us. Our circumstances overwhelm us more often than not. Decisions made by people whom we have no control over rock our lives. We lose sight of God and what He is doing, and we end up leading defeated powerless lives, no different to those who do not believe that God exists. Advent is the time we wait on the promise. Advent is the time between the promise and the breakthrough.
The Blessed Mother teaches us how to work through our own Advents. She teaches us that the word of God is not just for knowledge, but to be believed and acted upon. She teaches us that not only know¬ing scripture but we, must hear the voice of the Lord personally and respond to him with love.
Prayer: Abba Father, too long have we lived defeated lives, no different from those who do not believe. We cry out “Lord I believe, help my unbelief” Amen