Father David's Reflection for Friday of Week Four (Ordinary Time)
Blessed be God, my salvation!
(Responsorial: Psalm 18)
Sirach 47:2-11: What is striking about Sirach’s praise of David is that after each accomplishment he lists, he tells us what David was aware of. When he slew Goliath, he “called on the Lord Most High.” He was aware of who “gave strength to his right arm.” In all the battles he won, “he gave thanks to the Holy One.” He “put all his heart into his songs, out of love for his Maker.” He enhanced the singing and music at feasts “causing the Lord’s holy name to be praised.” And so “the Lord took away his sins” and exalted him forever.”
God looks to the heart. And so should we. We “put our heart into” what we are doing when we act with conscious faith, remembering who we are as children of the Father, sharing in his divine life through identification with the Son. Conscious of his prolonged creative word, “Beeee…” sustaining us in existence. Of the gift of his Spirit within us, empowering us to act on the level of God through faith, hope and love. Aware that we are enlightened, called and sent by God to continue the mission of Jesus. Aware of Jesus himself within us, expressing his truth, his love, in and through our human words and actions, to give and enhance his divine life in all we deal with. Aware that Jesus has won the victory, has conquered sin and death,, and is establishing his reign now through our efforts as “stewards of his kingship.” To keep ourselves aware of the mystery of our ongoing, interactive relationship with God is the first phase of our journey into the “fullness of life” and the “perfection of love.” 1
The refrain of our hearts should be always: “Blessed be God, my salvation! Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me.”
In Mark 6:14-29 even Herod, spiritually numbed though he was by immersion in sensuality, power and prestige, was able to feel a prophetic, suspicion approaching truth when he heard what Jesus was doing. “John [the Baptizer],” he said, “whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
He was right about the resurrection; just wrong in his timing and identification of the one who had been raised. What Herod saw in Jesus was divine life at work. And he would see it again in the disciples of Jesus after Jesus, not John, whom Herod, with Pilate, sent to the cross, was raised from the dead. The life and actions of those who have died and been raised with Christ through Baptism are inexplicable without the recognition of grace. It is only by sharing in the divine life of Jesus, risen and living in them, that Christians can live as the Gospel calls us to live. What Herod saw in Jesus, everyone on earth should see in his followers.
If they don’t, the first reason is that Christians themselves are just not aware of the mystery of their being. That is the first thing we need to work on.
Initiative: Keep reminding yourself of who and what you have become by grace.
1 See John 10:10; 16:33; Romans, chapters 5 to 8. Vatican II, The Church, no. 40.