God has a plan for us. David intends to build a Temple for God, but it is not part of God’s plan for him. This will be the job of Solomon. David conquered lands and people to expand the Jewish territory—his hands are tainted with the blood of those he conquered. We will never know God’s mind, but it is best to accept His will than to work against it no matter how good our intention is.
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
1 When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” 3 Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” 4 But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said: 5 “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in? 8 “‘It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. 10 I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, 11 since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. 12 And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. 16 Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.’”
Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
R: Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
2 The favors of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. 3 For you have said, “My kindness is established forever;” in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. (R) 4 I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: 5 Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations.” (R) 27 “He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior.’ 29 Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm.” (R)
The Benedictus in today’s Gospel is recited every morning at the Hour of Lauds (Morning Prayer). It is a beautiful reflection on God’s heart for His people, particularly the poor. This morning, let us spend some time reflecting on how God prepares the way for Jesus through John the Baptist. Let us ask Him to continue to use us in the spirit of John’s mission of bringing the Gospel in the world today.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
67 Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. 69 He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. 70 Through his prophet he promised of old, 71 that he would save us from our enemies from the hand of all who hate us. 72 He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. 73 This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to set us free from the hand of enemies, free to worship him without fear, 75 holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. 76 You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. 78 In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, 79 to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”