28Jan 28/01. Thursday, Week 3

Saint Thomas Aquinas, memorial

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29

David prays with gratitude, about God’s everlasting promises to his descendants

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God; you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God! And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people forever; and you, O Lord, became their God. And now, O Lord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised. Thus your name will be magnified forever in the saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel’; and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house’; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

Gospel: Mark 4:21-25

To those who have more will be given; from the have-nots, the little they have will be taken away

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”


Thanking God for promises fulfilled

As we hear David thanking God for the promise of kingship to his family, little did he realize that these promises would find their deepest meaning when Jesus took his place as king, at the Father’s right hand. In a way that could not have been understood by David so long before, the Gospel words were fulfilled, that “the measure you give will be the measure you get.”

Only by making our own personal contribution in full measure – knowing that we do not fully understand yet continuing to trust that God is writing straight with the crooked lines of history and of life – will we taste the promise, “you will receive, and more besides.” By uniting our destiny with the death and resurrection of Jesus, the lamp is taken from beneath the bushel basket and placed on a lampstand. If we can extend that figure of speech a little, the lamp is placed on a stand in the Holy of Holies so that we can perceive the wonderful mystery of God’s love for us.

Professing our faith

We are not to hide the light of our faith, keeping it under a bushel. Rather, we are to publicly proclaim our faith, our relationship with the Lord, by the lives that we lead, by the deeds that we do. On the other hand, we don’t publicly proclaim our faith in order to attract notice, in order to draw attention to ourselves, to bring praise or glory on ourselves. Rather, our public living of our faith is with a view to bringing glory to God. Today’s gospel invites us to ask, “Who is being honoured by my public living of my relationship with the Lord? Is it myself or is it God?” Another way of asking that question is, “Who is being served by my good deeds? Is it myself or is it the Lord?” The opening petitions of the Lord’s Prayer points us in the right direction, “Hallowed by your name, your kingdom come.” [MH]

Saint Thomas Aquinas, doctor of the Church.

Thomas de Aquino, (1225-1274), from Roccasecca, near Rome, Italy was a Dominican friar and an influential scholastic philosopher and theologian, who studied under St. Albert the Great. Aquinas had a distinguished teaching career, first in Naples and later in the newly founded Sorbonne university in Paris. Admired for his clarity of thought and dignity of manner, he was given the soubriquet Angelic Doctor (“Doctor Angelicus”). His major writings, the “Summa Theologica” and the “Summa contra Gentiles” were normative for Catholic theology for centuries, and he composed the beautiful liturgical texts for the newly-established eucharistic feast of Corpus Christi. Aquinas died in the Benedictive abbey of Fossanova near Rome, on his way to the Council of Lyons in 1274

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