Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened first of all about the word of God which He delivered to His servant, David, the king of Israel through the prophet Nathan. What actually happened, brethren? At that time, king David, having settled all accounts with his enemies and secured the entirety of the boundary of his kingdom of any further discord and conflict, wanted to establish for the Lord a new House in which He might dwell among the people.
At that time, the Lord dwelled in the Ark of the Covenant, as the earthly vessel of His most Holy Presence. The Ark of the Covenant was the tangible symbol of God’s presence among His people, as the epicentre of the community of Israel, most visibly during the time of the Exodus, when the Ark was housed in the Tent of Meeting. The priests would periodically go up to the Holy Presence of God and offer sacrifices there.
David wanted to make a House and Temple for the Lord as he did not find it right for him to stay in a lavish and large palace and yet the Lord stayed in under a Tent. But God made it clear to David, that it was actually not up to him to build Him a house, but rather, God would give the grace to David’s son, Solomon, to be the one to complete a house for Him. God chose those whom He deems to be worthy, and it is by His grace that everything comes to be.
In the Gospel passage today, we listened to the Lord Jesus Who taught the people using the parables or stories, through which He taught them about the truth of God in easily understandable comparisons to real life situations and conditions. In today’s passage, we heard about the well-known parable of the sower, in which the Lord Jesus related to the people, the story about a sower who sowed seeds that fell on few different locations and their outcome.
In that story, the seeds that the sower spread represent the Word of God, and the sower represents God Himself, Who came to spread His word and His truth among His people on earth. Yet, the reactions to the Lord’s words and call are truly varied, just as varied as the conditions in which the seeds fell into. There are those who fell into difficult grounds, into rocky grounds and among thistles and brambles, and failed to grow. Those represent all those who received the Lord’s words, and yet, failed to live up to the expectations that come together with those words of salvation.
As Christians, all of us are called to follow in the footsteps of king David, because he was one of the few of those who followed the Lord, and obeyed Him in most of the situation, listening to His will and obeying whatever it is that he was told to do. When the prophet Nathan told David that it was not God’s will for him to build the House and Temple for His Presence, he obeyed it all, and continued to live righteously in the presence of God henceforth.
That is the example of those who have listened to the Word of God and allowed it to enter into their lives and transform them, just as those seeds falling onto rich and fertile soil grew to bear fruits in many multiples of what have been originally planted. This is what all of us as Christians should also be doing, imitating the good examples of our predecessors in faith. And that also includes the saint whose memory and feast we celebrate today, St. Francis de Sales.
St. Francis de Sales was the patron saint of the Salesians, a religious order now widespread throughout the world, all following the examples of their founder, who was the Bishop of Geneva in Switzerland, who was renowned for his great piety and commitment to the Lord. He ministered to many of the people, especially all those who have wandered away from God’s truth, falling into heresies and false teachings, and gently leading them back to the faith.
He devoted himself to God and walked faithfully in His ways, helping many who are trying to find their way to their Lord and Saviour. And he also did many works and wrote many letters and books through which many more people through the years after him were inspired to seek the Lord and to be forgiven from their sins. This is the example of true discipleship and what each and every one of us as Christians are expected to do in our own respective lives.
May the Lord be with us always, and may He empower each and every one of us to live faithfully in accordance with His will. Let us all dedicate ourselves to Him anew, and may He empower us all to become ever better and ever committed disciples. May the Lord be our Master and our Guide at all times, and bless us and all of our endeavours. Amen.