Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Chronicles 29, 1.10-29

David then addressed the whole assembly, 'Solomon my son, whom Yahweh has specifically chosen, is young and immature, and the work is great; this palace is not for any human being but for Yahweh God.

Hence, in the presence of the whole assembly David blessed Yahweh. David said: 'May you be blessed, Yahweh, God of Israel our ancestor, for ever and for ever!

Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the splendour, length of days and glory, everything in heaven and on earth is yours. Yours is the sovereignty, Yahweh; you are exalted, supreme over all.

Wealth and riches come from you, you are ruler of all, in your hand lie strength and power, and you bestow greatness and might on whomsoever you please.

So now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your majestic name,

for who am I and what is my people, for us to be able to volunteer offerings like this?-since everything has come from you and we have given you only what you bestowed in the first place,

and we are guests before you, and passing visitors as were all our ancestors, our days on earth fleeting as a shadow and without hope.

Yahweh our God, all this wealth, which we have provided to build a house for your holy name, has come from you and all belongs to you.

'Knowing, my God, how you examine our motives and how you delight in integrity, with integrity of motive I have willingly given all this and have been overjoyed to see your people, now present here, willingly offering their gifts to you.

Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel our ancestors, watch over this for ever, shape the purpose of your people's heart and direct their hearts to you,

and give an undivided heart to Solomon my son to keep your commandments, your decrees and your statutes, to put them all into effect and to build the palace for which I have made provision.'

David then addressed the whole assembly: 'Now bless Yahweh your God!' And the whole assembly blessed Yahweh, God of their ancestors, bowing down in homage to Yahweh, and to the king.

On the day following this, they slaughtered sacrifices and brought burnt offerings to Yahweh on behalf of Israel -- a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs with their libations, as well as many other sacrifices-

and they ate and drank that day in Yahweh's presence with great joy. They then made Solomon son of David king a second time, anointing him as leader for Yahweh, and Zadok as priest.

Solomon took his seat on Yahweh's throne, to reign in succession to David his father. He prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.

All the chiefs, all the leading citizens and all King David's other sons pledged allegiance to King Solomon.

Yahweh made Solomon exceedingly powerful, as all Israel could see, and gave him a reign of such splendour as no previous king of Israel ever had.

David son of Jesse was king of all Israel.

He was king of Israel for a period of forty years; he reigned at Hebron for seven years, and in Jerusalem for thirty-three.

He died at a good old age, full of days, riches and honour. Then his son Solomon succeeded him.

The history of King David, from first to last, is all written down in the records of Samuel the seer, the records of Nathan the prophet and the records of Gad the seer,


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The final chapter in 1 Chronicles begins with David’s beautiful testimony regarding his concern for building the temple. We should take a closer look and meditate on this concern especially now that so many places of worship have been forgotten and abandoned. However this Bible passage suggests a critical preoccupation, that of building the true temple of God which is the Christian Community. These fraternities of women and men who pray, live fraternally and help the poor are the place on Earth where God has chosen to live. The question is whether we are truly preoccupied with this. Often we encounter an almost religious individualism so wide-spread that it makes us question this concern. Building God’s temple requires time, passion and love. The Church is not the concern of only a few or of the professionals: it belongs to all and all of us are responsible for building it. David sees the end of his days coming and grows generous: his main concern is not about his riches or accumulating wealth for his kin. His heart is set on the “house of peace”. He gives an enormous quantity of precious goods for building the temple. David knows that his son, Solomon, was chosen by God to construct the temple. He knows, however, that Solomon needs everyone’s help and he says this to the entire population gathered: “[he] is young and inexperienced, and the work is great...” (v. 1). And in fact, in response to his generosity, many bring their offerings for the temple. The author of Chronicles notes that “David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly” (v. 9-10). This is a splendid image of the old king who is, we could add, “full of consolation” and who offers up a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord. His prayer is rich with religious depth. David, aware of human littleness and of our receiving everything from the Lord, refers to God, as the source, of all the gifts that have been presented for the construction of the temple. “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from thee, and of thy own have we given thee” (v. 14). What matters is the spontaneity or better, the gratuitousness with which we respond to the Lord, knowing that all that comes to us is from him. The prayer of thanksgiving addressed to the Lord is a hymn to the goodness that God gives to all of us: “Both riches and honour come from thee, and thou rulest over all. In thy hand are power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great and to give strength to all” (v. 12). All that we give to God has been given to us by Him. But the Lord is not simply interested in getting back from us what he has given. What really interests Him is our heart. David understood this: this is the true wealth of the Israelites. This is why he continues to pray, “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep for ever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of thy people, and direct their hearts toward thee” (v. 18). The first book of Chronicles ends with these words and with this image of David and all the people on bended knee, prostrate before God. In this way, the author of Chronicles hands down to us his belief that David’s principal work was the common prayer to God. This is the cement in the building of the community of believers.