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Tuesday – Third Week – OT2
Readings: 2 Sam 6:12b-15, 17-19; Mk 3:31-35.
1/ First Reading: RSV 2 Samuel 6:12 And it was told King David, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obededom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13 and when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the horn. 17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place, inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts, 19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
2/ Gospel: RSV Mark 3:31 And his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
I. THEME: Doing God’s will
There is a story which can be used to illustrate the importance of doing God’s will as following: A certain king wants to give his inheritance to his children. He wants to teach them to avoid the ostentation from outside by putting precious gifts in simple boxes and simple gifts in ostentatious boxes. Then he called his children in and let them choose, starting with the oldest. Most of his children chose the ostentious boxes. When it came to the youngest turn, he hesitated a moment, then he spoke to his father: “I don’t know how to choose, may you help me to choose, please!” The king, of course, knew which one is the best and gave to his youngest son.
Today readings concentrate on the important theme of recognizing and doing God’s will. In the first reading, king David learned to do God’s will, not his own will. Therefore, he changed his mind to go up to the house of Obededom to remove God’s ark to the city of David; and God abundantly blessed his house. In the Gospel, Jesus clearly declared the relationship between God and His people isn’t based on blood relation, but on doing His wills.
1/ Reading I: David danced before the Lord with all his might.
1.1/ David brought God’s ark to his city the second time: The first time when David tried to bring God’s ark to his city, was stopped because Uzzah was died. The reason of his death was because he put his hands out to prevent the ark from falling to the ground. David was sad and terrified so that he commanded to bring the ark to the house of Obededom, a gentile, instead to Jerusalem, his city.
Why did David bring God’s ark to a Gentile’s house? He might be afraid of God that he will have the same fate as Uzzah (6:9). He might be sad (6:8) because God didn’t do his will: God turned joy to sorrow when he was preparing to welcome God.
1.2/ David learned to follow God’s will: When God’s ark remained in Obededom’s house, David heard that God abundantly blessed his house. Therefore, David changed his mind, he decided to go up again to Obededom’s house to carry God’s ark to his city.
David has learned an important lesson: Men need God’s presence so that they are blessed and protected by Him. God doesn’t own people anything; but people owe Him everything. David was anointed to be a king to replace Saul because of God’s will. Samuel anointed him when he was a meaningless shepherd and the youngest in his family. Moreover, David won the battle with Goliath and the Philistines because God’s hand was with him. In short, David recognized one important thing: People must recognize and do God’s will, not to force God to do their wills. When people do that, God shall bless and bestow on them His blessings.
2/ Gospel: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
2.1/ People must love God above all: When one reads over today passage, he can come to a conclusion that Jesus insulted his mother, brothers and sisters, and he didn’t keep the fourth commandment! Did Jesus actually violate this commandment?
One of Jesus’ mission on earth is to correct misunderstanding. In today passage, Jesus didn’t go beyond two important commandments which are: first, to love God above all things; and second, to love people as oneself. Jesus wanted to emphasize the order of these two commandments which people reversed it many times. Jesus was preaching the Good News, this meant he was doing God’s will. This task must be important than any other tasks. He can’t sacrifice his preaching to talk with his relatives. However, when he doesn’t preach, he still can find time to love and to care for his mother; as he gave Mary to his beloved disciple at the foot of the Cross.
2.2/ To love God is to do His will: The second lesson Jesus wanted to teach people that true love must be expressed in action. People used to think they show their love to God by words or external acts like attending Mass, saying prayers or praying to Him. These are good, but not as important as doing God’s will.
Jesus’ life is the perfect example for people to learn how to love God. He wanted to be incarnated to execute God’s plan of salvation. During his life on earth, God’s will was the motivation for his living and he gave us his sayings which should be the compass of our life, such as: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work” (Jn 4:34). “I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (Jn 5:30b). “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:40). Jesus’ last hours in Ghetsemane was a tension between his fear of suffering and God’s will, but he said to his Father at the end: “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done” (Mt 26:42).
2.3/ Jesus’ relatives are those who do God’s will: Jesus clearly declared there is only one way to become his relatives when he said: “Who are my mother and my brothers?”And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Jesus discarded all other reasons which people can rely on to say they belong to God’s household, and kept only one reason which is to do God’s will. Of course, Mary and his disciples are members of God’s household because they always do God’s will.
Doing God’s will isn’t about doing magnificent works, but fulfilling the duties He gave us in our daily life. In other words, the duty of Jesus’ disciple is outlined: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 26:14).
III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:
– God pleases with our effort to learn His will and to courageously do them than our sacrifice and offering.
– God’s will, in general, is our effort to reach salvation for ourselves and for others by doing what He teaches us.
– Our duty is to learn and to do God’s will; not to pray for Him to change His will and to follow ours.
– To find out God’s will, we must spend time to learn Scripture to understand God’s plan of salvation; and then, do the best of our abilty to bring Good News to all people.