Wednesday January 30, 2002 (Audio) Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Third Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (2 Samuel 7:4-17) Gospel (St. Mark 4:1-20)
In the first reading today, we have this very important prophecy that God delivers through the prophet Nathan to David. While David wants to build a permanent house for God (that is, to take the ark of the covenant out of the tent that had been made for it and make a temple instead), God says to David that David will not build a house for God. David had shed too much blood upon the earth, and God was not going to allow him to build the temple. But instead, He says to David: "I will build you a house and I will put a son upon your throne, and your throne will endure forever before Me." This is precisely what the evangelists pick up when we hear about the Nativity of Our Lord, when the archangel Gabriel tells Our Blessed Lady that Jesus is the fulfillment of this particular prophecy: that He is the one who is promised, that it is He who will reign upon the throne forever.
And so, when we look at how God works, we see that the throne of David, on the natural level, was completely dismantled. There were only two good kings out of the entire group of them, and even they were not entirely faithful. Then, it was completely destroyed on the natural level. Yet there was a little group of people, who were the offspring of David, who maintained this prophecy. They knew the promise and they maintained their life. They waited for the promise to be fulfilled. They, interestingly, were called Nazareans, and they founded a little town called Nazareth. They were waiting for this fulfillment. And that, of course, is what we also see in the life of Our Lord.
All these different things that the Lord had spoken needed to be fulfilled and they have been fulfilled - not on a natural level, but on a supernatural level- so that each one of us, then, could be members of the kingdom of David, children of David by promise, not by blood, but by inheritance through the promise that is fulfilled in Christ, each one of us incorporated into Jesus Christ. When we look at all the promises made to Abraham, all the promises made to David, all the promises made through Moses, all the different things that God has promised throughout the generations, all of these things refer to us because we have been made heirs of these promises. They are our inheritance as well because we have become spiritual children of Abraham and we have become spiritual offspring of David in Jesus Christ.
We have our King and He is God. We have our kingdom and, in fact, that kingdom is within. And we have all of the promises that God has made and are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Now He wants to fulfill them in us, which is why, then, when we look at the Gospel for the day, we need to make sure that we are keeping our focus on the Lord and allowing the Word, which is Jesus Christ, to be planted deeply and firmly within us and make sure that we ourselves are rooted in prayer so that this Word will be able to grow within us and produce that yield of thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. When we understand all the things that God has done and continues to do in their proper context, there is no alternative. [The choice] is: keep our focus on the Lord and be able to inherit the kingdom or put our focus elsewhere and destroy what God has planted within us. The choice lies entirely with us. We know what we need to do. The question is, once again, if we are willing to do it. The way of Christ or the way of the world? Selfishness or love? It is entirely up to us. The Lord has laid out for us what we need to do: simply to open our hearts and to allow Him to be enthroned within us.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.