Sunday, December 18, 2011

Have Faith

2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself.” (1814).

King David in Prayer by Pieter de Grebber
It can be very hard to have faith sometimes. I was reflecting the other day on the reality that while much of the world around us is full of Christmas cheer, there are some in our own communities and families who are not. Some have lost a spouse, child or parent and go without their presence for the first time this Christmas. Some have endured great trials or tragedies in their lives. In these and many other situations all of us find ourselves in at some point in our life, we are challenged to have faith in Our Lord and His promises to us. The scriptures this weekend help us to do so.

In the Second Book of Samuel, we hear about that familiar figure King David. Having finally found rest from his enemies, he resolved to build a house for the Ark of the Covenant, the dwelling place of the Lord. The Lord then reminds him “It was I who took you from the pasture…I have been with you…I have destroyed all your enemies before you….” Reminding David of these things done in the past, the Lord then speaks of what He will do in the future, saying, “I will raise up your heir after you… I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”

A Son of David ruled on the throne as king for the next four hundred years until the Babylonian Exile in 597 B.C., when the Israelites people were scattered among the nations and their kingdom fallen. When this happened, you can imagine the people’s thoughts. ‘The Lord said the Davidic King would rule forever. Has the Lord forgotten His promise? Has He gone back on His word? Has He abandoned us?’ It would seem that all was lost, that there was no reason to hope. And yet there were some who still believed that the Lord would keep His word and restore the Kingdom of David. They had faith.

For over six hundred years, they longed for that king until the day they heard the message that Gabriel spoke to Mary: “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

A Son of David shall be king again! And furthermore, this king fulfills the prophecy perfectly – the child is no mere child but rather is truly the Son of God the Father and will indeed reign forever before Him in Heaven. How blessed indeed were those who kept faith and had eyes to see this great prophecy fulfilled.

The Infant of Prague
Truly, the Lord is faithful to us and keeps all of His promises. How blessed will we be too, if we place our trust in Him and simply have faith.

Come, O King of All the Nations.
Come, O Come, Emmanuel.