Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
(II Samuel 7:18-19; 24-29; Mark 4:21-25)
It is said that history is written by the victors. For this reasons some Bible scholars question the virtue of David. According to the official story, he was much of a saint. Although he committed adultery and covered up his sin with murder, these offenses are duly repented. Most likely David was not as virtuous as the Bible describes him to be. He certainly had a harem and likely drew more blood than necessary.
Still David’s story offers valuable lessons. In today’s first reading David is pictured at prayer. His words serve as a model for all people before God. Everyone, like David here, should be humble before their Creator and Judge. Also, all should thank God for the blessings they receive. Likewise, all should request from God whatever is needed for the good of one’s community.
We might wonder if scholars think the same of Jesus as they do of David. Is his story so great because in time his followers came to be kings? The answer is clearly “no.” Jesus died what appeared to the world as an ignominious death. His resurrection from the dead was not a public affair in the sense that society at large witnessed it. Yet because of it, his followers were not disillusioned by his crucifixion. Rather, strengthened by the Spirit, they began to live as Jesus preached. Sure, in time Christians became rulers. But they have been aware that to remain his followers they must lead with his love and truth.