HOMILY FOR 24TH DECEMBER.
THEME: DYNASTY FOR A REWARD.
BY; Fr. Karabari Paul.
“……and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.”
According to the judgment of his father, David was an unlikely candidate to ascend the exalted throne as the second King of Israel. God chose him, rejecting all his elder brothers that were presented before him. He was made a king. After moving the royal residence to Jerusalem and transporting the Ark of the Covenant to this new royal capital, David, in the First Reading (2Sam. 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16), sought to build a temple for God.
In the ancient Near East, kings built extravagant residences for deities at the highest points of the royal city that would reflect the gods’ splendour and majesty. In this sense, David’s request was not completely self-promoting, but the suitable action for a new king looking to honour his God. However, the words of David in this passage reflect something much more than a mere responsibility. They show gratitude, humility, and goodness. Comparing his own house of cedar and the Lord’s dwelling in tent shows that his desire to build a temple for the Lord was an act of gratitude for all that God had been to him.
But as we know, God is a surprising God. Rather than respond with approval, God gave a rather sharp reply, “Are you the one to build me a house to live in?” God explained that He had never had a temple for his entire history with Israel’s ancestors, from the Egyptian captivity and the ensuing exodus (2 Samuel 7:6). God reminded David that the divine presence was with them in tents, in the pasture, among their sheep, and in battle. Rather, God promised to build a lasting dynasty for David and his progeny. God would give David and the children of Israel long-awaited rest from enemies. God doesn’t forget man’s history and deeds. We need to be careful.
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Most significantly, God invoked the promise to the patriarchs and augments it: “I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me” (2 Samuel 7:12-14). The temple-house would be built in time, but only through David’s son. But the dynasty-house was already built and was established for the ages. God assured David that this dynasty-house would never fade.
The promise eventually culminated in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth when the angel declared “The Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David” (Luke 1:32). In the Gospel of today (Luke 1:67-79), Zechariah affirmed the fulfilment of that promise made in ages past.
Our good actions today can guarantee us a place in God’s favourable schemes. It can also provide an assurance of blessings for our household. No good act is lost in God. The fruits may not be immediate but will surely come. What we offer to God is given to ourselves. Good action yields more than 100% in God’s enterprise. Act and walk humbly before the Lord. But do not forget to be grateful for every blessing. From a simple act of gratitude, a dynasty could be given for a reward. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God grant us his blessings and protection, heal our world and bless our land through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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