It Is Fitting To Give Thanks And Praise To God
Thursday of Week 3 in Ordinary Time - Cycle II
2 Sam. 7:18-19, 24-29 & Mk. 4:21-25
David's prayer in the first readings is one of gratitude. He had just received, through the prophet Nathan, a solemn promise from God that He would build a dynasty. This meant that David's line would not die out, and that one of his descendants would be the royal Messiah Whom we know to be Jesus Christ.
In this moment of reflection, David begins to realise the immensity of God's love and generosity. "Who am I Lord," he asks in wonder, "and what is my House that you have led me as far as this?" David was humble enough to recognise that he had done nothing to merit this promise. It was a promise which God made freely and lovingly, and all David could do was give Him thanks and praise.
In every Mass we are called to praise and thank God, in particular at the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer. He has given us “the Earth and its fullness", as David says in the psalm. (Ps 24) He has showered on us so many blessings and gifts, and perhaps like David, we sometimes need to pause and contemplate our blessing.
Our heavenly Father gives to each of us talents and abilities which He wants us to use in His service. Some people have practical skills, or intellectual gifts, or an aptitude for comforting and strengthening the distressed. But if we have a talent which is lying dormant, we are showing God no gratitude. We are hiding our light under a tub instead of letting it shine for the benefit of others. It's as if someone has given us a beautiful Christmas present and we have simply put it away in a drawer, unopened and unused. We must learn to develop our various gifts, so that we can serve God and become the people He intends us to be. This is the best way in which we can give Him our thanks and praise.
In today’s Gospel Jesus lays down three great principles of the spiritual life. Firstly, the more we give to God the more He will give us. Control an addiction and we receive freedom. Give up promiscuity and we find the practice of chastity easier. Stop lying and we live a life of truth. Secondly, to those who use what they have, more will be given them. The spiritual life is dynamic, not static. The more you pray, the more you want to pray and so come closer to God. And thirdly, those who have little, and give little to God, will lose the little they have. Assiduously practice your faith and the stronger it will be. Like a glass of wine left standing and not replenished, it will evaporate and soon the glass will be empty.
Heavenly Father may the light of our faith shine so brightly in us that it will attract others to You.