Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2Sam 12, 7-14 I have sinned against the LORD

(2Sam 12, 7-14) I have sinned against the LORD

[7] Then Nathan said to David: "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king of Israel. I rescued you from the hand of Saul. [8] I gave you your lord's house and your lord's wives for your own. I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were not enough, I could count up for you still more. [9] Why have you spurned the LORD and done evil in his sight? You have cut down Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you took his wife as your own, and him you killed with the sword of the Ammonites. [10] Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.' [11] Thus says the LORD: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. [12] You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'" [13] Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan answered David: "The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. [14] But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die."

(CCC 1736) Every act directly willed is imputable to its author: Thus the Lord asked Eve after the sin in the garden: "What is this that you have done?" (Gen 3:13). He asked Cain the same question (Cf. Gen 4:10). The prophet Nathan questioned David in the same way after he committed adultery with the wife of Uriah and had him murdered (Cf. 2 Sam 12:7-15). An action can be indirectly voluntary when it results from negligence regarding something one should have known or done: for example, an accident arising from ignorance of traffic laws.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2Sam 12, 1-4 The LORD sent Nathan to David

(2Sam 12, 1-4) The LORD sent Nathan to David

[1] The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: "Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. [2] The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. [3] But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him. [4] Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Instead he took the poor man's ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor."

(CCC 2538) The tenth commandment requires that envy be banished from the human heart. When the prophet Nathan wanted to spur King David to repentance, he told him the story about the poor man who had only one ewe lamb that he treated like his own daughter and the rich man who, despite the great number of his flocks, envied the poor man and ended by stealing his lamb (Cf. 2 Sam 12:14). Envy can lead to the worst crimes (Cf. Gen 4:3-7; 1 Kings 21:1-29). "Through the devil's envy death entered the world" (Wis 2:24): We fight one another, and envy arms us against one another.... If everyone strives to unsettle the Body of Christ, where shall we end up? We are engaged in making Christ's Body a corpse.... We declare ourselves members of one and the same organism, yet we devour one another like beasts (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 2 Cor. 27, 3-4: PG 61, 588).

Monday, June 28, 2010

2Sam 7, 26-29 Your name will be forever great

(2Sam 7, 26-29) Your name will be forever great

[26] Your name will be forever great, when men say, 'The LORD of hosts is God of Israel,' and the house of your servant David stands firm before you. [27] It is you, LORD of hosts, God of Israel, who said in a revelation to your servant, 'I will build a house for you.' Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you. [28] And now, Lord GOD, you are God and your words are truth; you have made this generous promise to your servant. [29] Do, then, bless the house of your servant that it may be before you forever; for you, Lord GOD, have promised, and by your blessing the house of your servant shall be blessed forever."

(CCC 1081) The divine blessings were made manifest in astonishing and saving events: the birth of Isaac, the escape from Egypt (Passover and Exodus), the gift of the promised land, the election of David, the presence of God in the Temple, the purifying exile, and return of a "small remnant." the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, interwoven in the liturgy of the Chosen People, recall these divine blessings and at the same time respond to them with blessings of praise and thanksgiving. (CCC 2465) The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth. His "faithfulness endures to all generations" (Ps 119:90; Cf. Prov 8:7; 2 Sam 7:28; Ps 119:142; Lk 1:50). Since God is "true," the members of his people are called to live in the truth (Rom 3:4; cf. Ps 119:30).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2Sam 7, 22-25 Great are you, Lord GOD!

(2Sam 7, 22-25) Great are you, Lord GOD!

[22] And so - "Great are you, Lord GOD! There is none like you and there is no God but you, just as we have heard it told. [23] What other nation on earth is there like your people Israel, which God has led, redeeming it as his people; so that you have made yourself renowned by doing this magnificent deed, and by doing awe-inspiring things as you cleared nations and their gods out of the way of your people, which you redeemed for yourself from Egypt? [24] You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever, and you, LORD, have become their God. [25] And now, LORD God, confirm for all time the prophecy you have made concerning your servant and his house, and do as you have promised.

(CCC 215) "The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever" (Ps 119:160) "and now, O LORD God, you are God, and your words are true" (2 Sam 7:28); this is why God's promises always come true (Cf. Dt 7:9). God is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things. The beginning of sin and of man's fall was due to a lie of the tempter who induced doubt of God's word, kindness and faithfulness.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

2Sam 7, 18-21 You know your servant, Lord GOD!

(2Sam 7, 18-21) You know your servant, Lord GOD!

[18] Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, "Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house, that you have brought me to this point? [19] Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD; you have also spoken of the house of your servant for a long time to come: this too you have shown to man, Lord GOD! [20] What more can David say to you? You know your servant, Lord GOD! [21] For your servant's sake and as you have had at heart, you have brought about this entire magnificent disclosure to your servant.

(CCC 2579) David is par excellence the king "after God's own heart," the shepherd who prays for his people and prays in their name. His submission to the will of God, his praise, and his repentance, will be a model for the prayer of the people. His prayer, the prayer of God's Anointed, is a faithful adherence to the divine promise and expresses a loving and joyful trust in God, the only King and Lord (Cf. 2 Sam 7:18-29). In the Psalms David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first prophet of Jewish and Christian prayer. The prayer of Christ, the true Messiah and Son of David, will reveal and fulfill the meaning of this prayer.

Friday, June 25, 2010

2Sam 7, 16 Your kingdom shall endure forever

(2Sam 7, 16) Your kingdom shall endure forever

[16] Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.'"

(CCC 709) The Law, the sign of God's promise and covenant, ought to have governed the hearts and institutions of that people to whom Abraham's faith gave birth. "If you will obey my voice and keep my covenant,… you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Ex 19:5-6; Cf. 1 Pet 2:9). But after David, Israel gave in to the temptation of becoming a kingdom like other nations. The Kingdom, however, the object of the promise made to David (Cf. 2 Sam 7; Ps 89; Lk 1:32-33), would be the work of the Holy Spirit; it would belong to the poor according to the Spirit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2Sam 7, 14-15 I will be a father to him

2 Samuel (chosen pages)

(2Sam 7, 14-15) I will be a father to him

[14] I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. And if he does wrong, I will correct him with the rod of men and with human chastisements; [15] but I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul, whom I removed from my presence.

(CCC 238) Many religions invoke God as "Father". The deity is often considered the "father of gods and of men". In Israel, God is called "Father" inasmuch as he is Creator of the world (Cf. Dt 32:6; Mal 2:10). Even more, God is Father because of the covenant and the gift of the law to Israel, "his first-born son" (Ex 4:22). God is also called the Father of the king of Israel. Most especially he is "the Father of the poor", of the orphaned and the widowed, who are under his loving protection (Cf. 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 68:6). (CCC 441) In the Old Testament, "son of God" is a title given to the angels, the Chosen People, the children of Israel, and their kings (Cf. Dt 14:1; (LXX) 32:8; Job 1:6; Ex 4:22; Hos 2:1; 11:1; Jer 3:19; Sir 36:11; Wis 18:13; 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 82:6). It signifies an adoptive sonship that establishes a relationship of particular intimacy between God and his creature. When the promised Messiah-King is called "son of God", it does not necessarily imply that he was more than human, according to the literal meaning of these texts. Those who called Jesus "son of God", as the Messiah of Israel, perhaps meant nothing more than this (Cf. 1 Chr 17:13; Ps 2:7; Mt 27:54; Lk 23:47).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

1Sam 28, 19 By tomorrow you and your sons will be with me

(1Sam 28, 19) By tomorrow you and your sons will be with me

[19] Moreover, the LORD will deliver Israel, and you as well, into the clutches of the Philistines. By tomorrow you and your sons will be with me, and the LORD will have delivered the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines."

(CCC 633) Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God (Cf. Phil 2:10; Acts 2:24; Rev 1:18; Eph 4:9; Pss 6:6; 88:11-13). Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom" (Cf. Ps 89:49; 1 Sam 28:19; Ezek 32:17-32; Lk 16:22-26): "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell" (Roman Catechism 1, 6, 3). Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him (Cf. Council of Rome (745): DS 587; Benedict XII, Cum dudum (1341): DS 1011; Clement VI, Super quibusdam (1351): DS 1077; Council of Toledo IV (625): DS 485; Mt 27:52-53).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

1Sam 16, 1; 12-13 There-anoint him, for this is he!

(1Sam 16, 1; 12-13) There-anoint him, for this is he!

[1] The LORD said to Samuel: "How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons." [12] Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, "There-anoint him, for this is he!" [13] Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David. When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

(CCC 438) Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, "for the name 'Christ' implies 'he who anointed', 'he who was anointed' and 'the very anointing with which he was anointed'. The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing'" (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 18, 3: PG 7/1, 934). His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power," "that he might be revealed to Israel" (Acts 10:38; Jn 1:31) as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God" (Mk 1:24; Jn 6:69; Acts 3:14).

Monday, June 21, 2010

1Sam 12, 23 To teach you the good and right way

(1Sam 12, 23) To teach you the good and right way

[23] As for me, far be it from me to sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you and to teach you the good and right way.

(CCC 2634) Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners (Cf. Rom 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1; 1 Tim 2:5-8). He is "able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" (Heb 7:25). The Holy Spirit "himself intercedes for us… and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Rom 8:26-27). (CCC 2635) Since Abraham, intercession - asking on behalf of another - has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God's mercy. In the age of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ's, as an expression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who prays looks "not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others," even to the point of praying for those who do him harm (Phil 2:4; cf. Acts 7:60; Lk 23:28, 34).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

1Sam 9, 16. 10, 1 You are to govern the LORD'S people

(1Sam 9, 16. 10, 1) You are to govern the LORD'S people

[16] "At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin whom you are to anoint as commander of my people Israel. He shall save my people from the clutches of the Philistines, for I have witnessed their misery and accepted their cry for help." [10, 1] Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul's head; he also kissed him, saying: "The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage. You are to govern the LORD'S people Israel, and to save them from the grasp of their enemies round about. "This will be the sign for you that the LORD has anointed you commander over his heritage:

(CCC 436) The word "Christ" comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means "anointed". It became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that "Christ" signifies. In effect, in Israel those consecrated to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name. This was the case for kings, for priests and, in rare instances, for prophets (Cf. Ex 29:7; Lev 8:12; 1 Sam 9:16; 10:1; 16:1, 12-13; I Kings 1:39; 19:16). This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom God would send to inaugurate his kingdom definitively (Cf. Ps 2:2; Acts 4:26-27). It was necessary that the Messiah be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord at once as king and priest, and also as prophet (Cf. Isa 11:2; 61:1; Zech 4:14; 6:13; Lk 4:16-21). Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet and king.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

1Sam 3, 9-10 Speak LORD for your servant is listening

(1Sam 3, 9-10) Speak LORD for your servant is listening

[9] So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" When Samuel went to sleep in his place, [10] the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

(CCC 2591) God tirelessly calls each person to this mysterious encounter with Himself. Prayer unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation as a reciprocal call between God and man. (CCC 2578) The prayer of the People of God flourishes in the shadow of God's dwelling place, first the ark of the covenant and later the Temple. At first the leaders of the people - the shepherds and the prophets - teach them to pray. The infant Samuel must have learned from his mother Hannah how "to stand before the LORD" and from the priest Eli how to listen to his word: "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening" (1 Sam 3:9-10; cf. 1:9-18). Later, he will also know the cost and consequence of intercession: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way" (1 Sam 12:23).

Friday, June 18, 2010

1Sam 1, 9-18 I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD

(1Sam 1, 9-18) I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD

[9] Hannah rose after one such meal at Shiloh, and presented herself before the LORD; at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the doorpost of the LORD'S temple. [10] In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously, [11] and she made a vow, promising: "O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives; neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head." [12] As she remained long at prayer before the LORD, Eli watched her mouth, [13] for Hannah was praying silently; though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli, thinking her drunk, [14] said to her, "How long will you make a drunken show of yourself? Sober up from your wine!" [15] "It isn't that, my lord," Hannah answered. "I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor; I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD. [16] Do not think your handmaid a ne'er-do-well; my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery." [17] Eli said, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." [18] She replied, "Think kindly of your maidservant," and left. She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and no longer appeared downcast.

(CCC 2590) "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God" (St. John Damascene, De fide orth. 3, 24: PG 94, 1089C). (CCC 2578) The prayer of the People of God flourishes in the shadow of God's dwelling place, first the ark of the covenant and later the Temple. At first the leaders of the people - the shepherds and the prophets - teach them to pray. The infant Samuel must have learned from his mother Hannah how "to stand before the LORD" and from the priest Eli how to listen to his word: "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening" (1 Sam 3:9-10; cf. 1:9-18). Later, he will also know the cost and consequence of intercession: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way" (1 Sam 12:23).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1Sam 1, 1 There was a certain man from Rama-thaim

1 Samuel (chosen pages)

(1Sam 1, 1) There was a certain man from Rama-thaim

[1] There was a certain man from Rama-thaim, Elkanah by name, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

(CCC 489) Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living (Cf. Gen 3:15, 20). By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age (Cf. Gen 18:10-14; 21:1-2). Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women (Cf. 1 Cor 1:17; 1 Sam 1). Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established"(LG 55).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Judg 13, 20-21 It was the angel of the LORD

(Judg 13, 20-21) It was the angel of the LORD

[20] as the flame rose to the sky from the altar, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell prostrate to the ground; [21] but the angel of the LORD was seen no more by Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah, realizing that it was the angel of the LORD,

(CCC 350) Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: "The angels work together for the benefit of us all" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3). (CCC 351) The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men. (CCC 352) The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Judg 13, 17-18 This divine name is mysterious

(Judg 13, 17-18) This divine name is mysterious

[17] Manoah said to him, "What is your name, that we may honor you when your words come true?" [18] The angel of the LORD answered him, "Why do you ask my name, which is mysterious?"

(CCC 206) In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men (Cf. Isa 45:15; Judg 13:18).