Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

2Sm 6:12-15,17-19; Ps 24:7-10; Mk 3:31-35

Whenever the Lord enters there’s a great crowd and great rejoicing.  The King of glory is worthy of all our excitement and all our attention.  He is the LORD and there is no other.  We lift up the gates.  We raise high the lintels.  We open wide the portals so that the king of glory may come in!  Along with the LORD comes all his retinue; we must make room for the king of glory has many who follow him in his train.  Why does a crowd gather and the multitude assemble?  Only because of who he is.  He is the LORD.  He is strong and mighty.  He is mighty and triumphant in battle.  This is the king of glory.  This is the LORD.  We have so few processions these days in liturgy yet at the beginning of every mass we have an entrance procession and an exit procession, a processional and a recessional.  This is a reminder of the great processions in the Temple at Jerusalem, and this is a glimpse of the future procession of all the saints in glory.  Today, our first reading recalls one such grand procession in Jerusalem.  Today, we hear of the arrival of the king of glory resting upon his footstool the Ark of the Covenant.  Today’s gospel is a reverse procession.  The room is already full of those who know and love the Lord Jesus.  When his family arrives in their procession, Jesus introduces to them his family of faith.  At every liturgy we welcome the king of glory who is already here summoning us to be his family of faith here and now.  Indeed, we have great cause to rejoice and be glad!


“As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart.”  This is the left out verse.  Why?  Are we afraid of honest responses from real people who have imperfect hearts and minds?  Are we afraid of making women look bad?  Are we trying to not complicate the situation with reference to Saul’s daughter?  Why do we leave out one verse?  Perhaps this verse is a key to understanding the entire passage?  Perhaps the daughter of the old king is not impressed with someone of a royal dignity dancing with abandon before the LORD.  After all David was a shepherd boy and he has yet to learn a public persona that will reflect his position in society.  In the eyes of Michal, old royalty, and a woman of dignity, the new king has failed the test in this procession.  Dancing with abandon and distributing free food may send the wrong message to the people.  After all a loaf of bread, a cut of meat, and a raisin cake sounds like the beginnings of a feast for all.  Shouldn’t the king and his family be a little more removed from the every day people?  Keeping a distance will help create the kind of respect and honor among the people that a real king deserves.  What is wrong with this public display of love and rejoicing in the LORD?  Perhaps it will send the wrong message to the masses.  Perhaps they will think that the covenant is all about celebration.  Perhaps they will open the gates of their hearts and lift high lintels of their lives and let in the true king of glory, the real king of Israel.  Clearly this display of royal play and delight gives more recognition to the Ark of the Covenant than to the splendor of David’s kingship.  Perhaps this is the true glory of King David.  Isn’t that why the LORD loved David with abandon?  As the LORD revealed, “David is a man after my own heart.”


The procession of his relatives stopped at the door of the house in which the Lord Jesus was speaking to those seated in the circle.  Like Saul’s daughter, Michal, they may have thought that they had exclusive claim upon the Divine Teacher.  Perhaps they wanted to remove the Lord Jesus from his admirers and help him come to his senses.  Their concern may have been with the word spreading around that he was not in his right mind.  However, the Lord Jesus did not jump up and make room for those at the door.  Rather he used this teachable moment to reveal the limitations of blood relationships and the demands of faith relationships.  Anyone who claims to be brother, sister, friend, mother, partner, follower, or disciple of the Lord Jesus must do the will of God with out hesitation and with complete abandonment.  Certainly, his mother Mary, the blessed and glorious Theotokos, was filled with the glory of obedient love.  What about us who so readily welcome the king of glory into our assembly?  Are we related to the Lord Jesus?  Do we constantly seek to do the will of God?