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In the Aftermath of David


“Man’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell.” ~ Jean Paul Richter

In many respects, today’s 1st Reading (Sirach 47:2-11), a radiant tribute and farewell to David, resembles that of a resume authored on behalf of the iconic giant slayer turned King, the man of whom Sirach’s author said “Made sport of lions as though they were kids, and of bears, like lambs of the flock.”

Digging deeper into this passage, here are a few more “resume bullets” which highlight David’s unforgettable life. I’ll choose the ones I would highlight and emphasize if I were he, perhaps on the verge of a big interview:

“When he was still a boy, he killed a giant to rescue his people. He put a stone in his sling, took aim, and put an end to Goliath's bragging.“ (2:4)

“He wiped out all his enemies and permanently crushed the Philistines, so that they never again became a threat.“ (2:7)

“He put singers at the altar to provide beautiful music.” (2:9)

“He set the times of the festivals throughout the year and made them splendid occasions; the Temple rang with the Lord's praises all day long.” (2:10)

So there you have it. In David we see a project manger who works well under pressure, a problem solver, a keen delegator, and a man who possesses outstanding time management skills. I’ve gotta think he’d be a cinch for at least a 2nd interview. We’re told in the waning words of this passage that “The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever; He conferred on him the rights of royalty and established his throne in Israel.” (2:11).

David as we know perpetrated the grave sins of adultery and murder; yet he did not give up. He wisely and swiftly sought repentance, and in doing so regained the grace of prophecy. There are many other Biblical figures who did the same. Saint Peter, the Rock upon which our Church was built, the keeper of the keys, is perhaps the most famous example. The people of Nineveh, at the urging of Jonah, are yet another one So repentant were the Ninevites that the King himself donned sackcloth and ashes, as did the animals. So moved was Jesus by these acts of penance and humility that the Ninevites were spared the wrath of God.

“Why would you die, house of Israel?" (Ezekiel 18:31), and why do we choose everlasting death rather than immortal life that is set before us?” Jesus cries out to us each day, "Come to me all you that toil and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” These are the words of none other than David himself as captured in Psalm 28. May these very words guard and rule our lives from now until the day we stand before the King of Kings, when we too will be armed with nothing but our spiritual Resumes. May the bullet items contained therein reveal faith-filled, charitable, loving, faith-filled children of God who yearn to hear the only words that will ever matter: Well done my good and faithful servant.

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"The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"
~ Mark 1:15

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