Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

2Sm 7:18-19,24-29; Ps 132:1-14; Mk 4:21-25

This is the consistent teaching of the Gospel and the Church: all of us are called to be saints.  Such an expectation is still quite startling for many Catholics.  Some complain, “I only want to get to heaven; I don’t want to be a saint.”  These people need to ask, who is in heaven?  God is in heaven.  The angels are in heaven.  The saints are in heaven.  Am I God or am I an angel?  Then how can I get to heaven?  Only by becoming a saint will anyone enjoy the fullness of the Kingdom of God.  Notice it’s about becoming a saint not about being canonized a saint.  Still, this is quite revolutionary.  It’s similar to the surprise King David felt when he realized that the LORD had chosen Zion and that he prefers her for his dwelling.  After the prophet told him of the LORD’s plan to set up his throne forever, King David went in and sat before the LORD in awe and wonder asking, “Who am I Lord”?  In today’s gospel we hear the Lord Jesus answering our question, you are the one who has faith and to you more will be given, “packed down and overflowing”.


No wonder the LORD found David to be a man after his own heart!  King David, even after having his plans to build a temple shot down, delights in God’s plan for him and for his descendants.  The king goes into the Holy Tent and sits before the Ark of the Covenant and ponders, “…you are God and your words are truth”.   David does not understand fully the promise, but he is quite taken aback with God’s decision.  The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, and he has chosen to sit David’s son on the throne of Israel for a long time to come.  This kindness is far beyond anything the king could have asked or imagined.  Neither he nor his descendants deserve such favor, yet the LORD is true to his word. This attitude of awe and wonder at the kindness and mercy of the LORD describes best our response to the universal call to holiness.  We do not deserve to be called, and often times we neglect or ignore such a demanding call.  Still, the LORD is faithful to his promise and the gift of life in abundance is always available to us.  Indeed we are blessed and we become a blessing for all who seek the Face of the LORD.  This is our royal dignity; this is our baptismal inheritance.  So, we too ask, “Who am I Lord”?


Today’s gospel leaves us with a few questions.  It starts with the Lord Jesus asking his disciples a question.  Where does one place a lamp?  Of what value is a light that does not shine upon the room?  Why place a lamp under a bushel basket or a bed?  The Lord Jesus explains his question with a wisdom statement, “For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.”  This wisdom is for those who have ears to hear and a heart to listen.  All the good deeds done in secret will brighten up the world and the heavens with the glory of God that is man fully alive.  We are most alive when we die to ourselves and pour ourselves out for the other, for Christ, The Other, and for his body the Church and for anyone in need.  The only light that brightens up our hopeless and gloomy days is the lamp of charity.  The Lord Jesus also reminds his disciples that, “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you.”  God will not be outdone in generosity.  This boundless blessing still gives rise to the question of King David, “who am I Lord, and who are my children that you would be so generous?”  At last this question can be applied to each of us.  We who have faith will be given more faith, and those who have no faith will have what they think they have taken away.  What they possess really possesses them, and the Lord Jesus will take it away so that they can be free to receive the only gift that cannot be taken away.