3rd Week, Tuesday: Reflection & Liturgy

2 Sam 6:12-15, 17-19 / Mark 3:31-35

David brings the ark to Jerusalem: Everyone rejoiced.

The film Raiders of the Lost Ark rekindled interest in the ark of the covenant. The ark was a wooden box, about four feet by two feet by two feet, overlaid with gold. On the top of the ark were two cherubim whose wings formed a canopy. (Exodus 25:20) “There was nothing inside . . .except the two stone tablets which Moses had placed there at Mount Sinai, when the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel.” 1 Kings 8:9.
The ark symbolized God’s presence among his people.
2  Maccabees 2:5 says that Jeremiah hid the ark in a cave when the Temple was destroyed in 587 b.c. It has never been found. When and where do we experience God’s presence most vividly and joyfully?
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The Church teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. And if we truly believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, we would be rushing to go for Mass the first thing in the morning and churches would be having Masses every hour. Would that sound incredible to us? And if that sounds incredible to us, then what is it that we believe in and what is the Mass to us?

In the 1st reading, we heard how David was dressed in only a linen garment and danced before the Lord with all his might. That was actually a very incredible thing for a king to do - to lay aside his royal robes and to be dressed in a linen garment (which symbolizes a priestly character) and to dance unreservedly before the Lord. Not only was it incredible for a king to do that, we will not even think of doing that kind of thing under normal circumstances. Yet in doing so, David showed that he was one with his people, just like any of them, and he just wanted to praise the Lord in all he did.In the end, David also showed himself as priest, prophet and king when he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts and distributed the communion sacrifices. David was a great king, but he was also like a simple and humble brother to his people.

As Jesus said in gospel, anyone who does the will of God is His brother and sister. Indeed, the will of God should be the source and summit of our life, just like the Eucharist. May we always know what God's will is and do it.

By transferring the Ark to Jerusalem, the new political center, David made the city also the religious center of Israel. Always interested in worship – is he not at the origin of the first collection of psalms? – he sang and danced before the Ark. For liturgy is life and joy. It is a confirmation and deepening of life related to God and a new source of strength to do God’s will with love and joy.
Jesus assures us that what brings us close to God and makes us his relatives is doing the will of the Father. This is all that matters, more than ties of blood. This mission was the core and meaning of Jesus’ life and death. Let us pray that his faithfulness may also be ours.

Opening Prayer
God Father of all, you know and you love us; whatever happens to us, we are in your hands. Wherever you lead us,
you know where you want us to go. We ask you for faith and trust. Make your will our will, that you may lead us to your home under the guidance of him, who did your will in everything, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The day that David brought the ark of the covenant to its new home in Jerusalem is a moment of unmatched joy. He realizes that the true sovereign of this fledgling country is not himself but the Lord. David’s intention to build a temple is thwarted by the Lord; that is to be the lot of his son Solomon. As mysterious as God’s presence is, the ark still localizes the presence of Yahweh, and Jerusalem is its fitting resting place.
The Gospel underscores a new relationship to Christ that comes with discipleship. Adhering to him and his teaching, we become brothers, sisters, and mothers. What was the entire purpose of our being educated in the faith? Was it not to actualize God’s will in our lives? Think of those years of instruction, the attendance at Catholic school or Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), the countess homilies heard over many years. All of it pointed to the daily task. The Christian life is not complicated, but neither is it simplistic. The opportunities to go astray are always present, but with it there is the master’s voice: “Will you remain faithful?”
Pastoral ministry presents the various facets of life. There are people who have departed from the faith for years but then realize they have squandered a rich heritage. They realize how far they have wandered and want to return home. They do so, and life takes on a new meaning. Other people have never wandered. There might have been mistakes along the way, but they were never far from the beaten path. They have the joy of being the brothers, sisters, and mothers of Jesus. In the words of the psalmist today: “Be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.”

Points to Ponder
The ark of the covenant
Living as members of Christ’s family
Remaining faithful

– That we may be close to Jesus by seeking with him and his mother the will of the Father, we pray:
– That priests and religious may keep trusting in the Lord who has called them notwithstanding their human weakness, and that with Christ, they may care especially for the poor and the weak, we pray:
– That those discouraged and wounded by life may not grow bitter, and that from our presence and friendship, they may draw fresh strength and hope, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

God our Father, this bread and this wine are signs that with Jesus, your Son, we are ready to seek your will. Allow us to share in his table as his brothers and sisters and to follow him on his loyal way to you, our God for ever.

Prayer after Communion
God our Father, you have given us a world to master and to develop according to your wise plans and to join forces to build up the body of Christ. May we do so by the strength of Jesus himself and make this Church and this world a communion of faith and hope, of love and peace, as a sign and a way to your joy that lasts for ever.

Brothers and sisters of Jesus… How much are we united with him and like him? We pray very often the Our Father and ask him that his will be done on earth as in heaven. That’s what we pray for, so that’s what we are committed to. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.