House for the Poor of All Peoples

by | Dec 19, 2017 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus fulfills the promise of God to king David of an everlasting royal house.  This kingdom is for the poor of all peoples.

Living in a palace and enjoying peace and security, king David thinks of building God a house.  But the holy and pious thought of the king does not seem to excite God.  The latter is keener on building the former a house.

And better indeed that God builds us a house rather than we human beings build him one.  For really, what kind of a house can we build for the Creator of heaven and earth?  The heavens are his throne, and the earth is his footstool.  Moreover, the Lord of the earth and of all it holds does not dwell in temples that human hands have made.

But even if we can build something for God, as though he needed it, we can still spoil it and everything else we touch (SV.ES XI:310-311).  Not only do we let sanctuaries give us a false sense of security.  We also turn houses of prayer into marketplaces and into dens of thieves even.

We need Someone greater and better than ourselves who will build a house for all peoples that will last forever.

God is the one who can do so.  If he does not build the house, we who try to build it work in vain.  And, in fact, by sending us his only Son, God fulfills his promise to David of an eternal royal house.

Jesus is the Son of the Most High, but he is at the same time the son of David.  Consequently, he is heir to the throne of David.    Since he is the Son of the Most High, Jesus makes everlasting the kingdom of David.  And this kingdom belongs to the poor.

In other words, it belongs to those who, like St. Vincent de Paul, have nothing but their faith in God.  They know he is with them, and they trust in him.  That is why they proclaim his greatness, and they rejoice in their Savior who looks kindly on their lowliness.  They give glory to the only wise God for his revelation to them through Jesus Christ.  Lowly and afflicted, they tremble at his words.

But the poor are not afraid, for God strengthens them.  To them, God is the Almighty who does great things for them.  What matters is the power that overshadows them, that is, the presence of God.  It does not matter that a woman is barren or that she has no relations with a man.  After all, nothing is impossible for God.

In the house you give us, Lord, you provide for all peoples rich food and choice wines.  Grant that our participation in your banquet commit us truly to those in need. 

24 December 2017
Fourth Sunday of Advent (B)
2 Sam 7, 1-5. 8b-12. 14a. 16; Rom 16, 25-27; Lk 1, 26-38