AD SENSE

3rd Week, Thursday, Jan 30th

2 Sam 7:18-19, 24-29 / Mark 4:21-25
David sits before the Lord: David prayed to the Lord.

In a Washington, D.C., cathedral there’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln at prayer. It’s the work of artist Spencer Houk. Houk got his inspiration for the statue from a story that his grandfather told over and over. One day he was walking through a woods in Gettysburg. Suddenly he came upon a kneeling figure. It was President Lincoln. Lincoln was a man of prayer. Like David, he drew strength from God by going off alone and praying.
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How often do we turn to God in prayer? “Meditation is not an escape from daily living, but a preparation for it. Like pearl divers, meditators plunge deep into the inner ocean of consciousness and hope to come swimming back to the surface with jewels of great price.” Ardis Whitman
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The Book of Psalms in the Bible is accredited to the authorship of King David, although it is quite obvious that there is more than one author. We use the Psalms in the worship at Mass and also in the Divine Office of the Church.
In many ways, the Psalms expressed the spirituality of King David. There are psalms of adoration, worship, praise and thanksgiving. There are also psalms of petitions, contrition, distress and lamentation.

Psalm 8 expresses best the prayer of King David in today's 1st reading. Psalms 8 begins with this: What is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him.

David was overwhelmed that God not only made him king of a great nation, God also promised to make his descendants into a royal dynasty, from which as we know now, came the Saviour Jesus.

That was why David said: Who am I, Lord, and what is my house that you have led me this far?

Like King David, let us also ask ourselves: Who am I, that the Lord should care for me even though I am sinful, and He sustains my life and fills me with blessings even though I do not deserve it.

Indeed, we could only say that God is merciful and His mercy endures from age to age.

When we truly understand this mercy and love of God for us, then that mercy and love will kindle the flame within us and, like Jesus said in the gospel, we will shine God's love for all to see.
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Thursday of 3rd Week - Liturgy

LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL 

Introduction 
We hear David thank God for giving stability to his kingdom; he prays that God’s blessings may come down on the royal house. In the Gospel, the parable presents Jesus’ message as a lamp that cannot be hidden; it will blaze brightly in the end time. We must give a generous response to his message of light. 

Opening Prayer 
Lord, our God, we can perceive the brightness of the message of Jesus, your Son, only in the shade. Make our faith grow, give us trust, that what we now see in obscurity and mystery may grow clearer in our minds and more evident in our actions. And never allow us to obscure or hide the kindly light of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Commentary 
It is difficult not to become angry with David in reading the Books of Samuel. But there are also those moments that melt the heart, and all is forgiven. Today’s passage is one of those moments. Following upon the promises made to David and his descendants, the king now turns to his God in grateful prayer. In the first place, the king is thankful for the kindness Yahweh has showered upon him, the son of a rural sheep farmer. He has been singled out for kingship and protected by God through a number of harrowing experiences. But more than that, he has now learned that he is to sire a dynasty that will last forever. This carries David well beyond his fondest dreams. “Who am I, O Lord God?” In posing the question at the start of his prayer, David realizes that he can make no claims on God. Everything has been gift, pure gift. Not only has he been personally favored, but the house of David as well. He can only pray for God’s continued blessing on his house that future descendants will remain cognizant of such goodness. None of us can make any claims on God, but, as the Gospel today reminds us, we can and should share what we have received. The ancients said, “Good is self-diffusive.” Goodness wants to go out and touch others. Unfortunately, we tend to become too self- absorbed. Let the good and positive features of our faith have greater play. Let’s not keep our candle under a bed or basket, but rather put it on a lampstand. There is no better way to express our gratitude. 

Points to Ponder 
David’s gratitude
Jesus and the line of David
The kingdom to last forever 

Intercessions 
– Lord, let the light of our love shine when we are more understanding and friendlier to one another and when we share more readily with those in need, we pray:
– Lord, let the light of our joy shine on earth when we show more sympathy and affection to one another, when we are faithful to our friendships and concerned about our communities, we pray:
– Lord, let the light of our faith shine on earth when we, your sons and daughters, live as children of light before you and in the sight of people, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Lord God, Father of light, the presence of Jesus, your Son will be hidden in these simple signs of bread and wine, yet we ask you to let his Spirit of light shine on us and on our world, that we may understand ourselves and what you call us to be and do, and that we may see how you take us by the hand, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion 
Lord our God, you alone are light without shadows and we are grateful that you do not blind us with its brightness but let it shine in the humanity of your Son, Jesus Christ. Let it also shine in our humanity, in our concern for one another, in our goodness and generosity of heart, in our timid attempts to follow your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever. 

Blessing 

Let your light shine! Or rather, let the light of Christ shine in you, for we are only lights of faith to the extent that we reflect the light of Christ’s message and life. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.