4 Sunday Advent B 2011
At first reading, the conversation between David and his court prophet Nathan appears to have been prompted by the king’s generous intent to build a temple where God could dwell and be honored. Upon closer examination, and given what we know of the religious and political circumstances of that period, it would seem that David had more than one reason for building a temple. In his rise to power, the former shepherd of his family’s flocks succeeded in uniting the often contentious tribes of
God is a free agent, a mobile and dynamic God, who comes and goes but is never confined to one place or one people. God is the architect of the universe, designer of every natural wonder, liberator of refugees, caretaker and protector of all that is. God has no need of a temple, for God’s presence is all-pervasive. Moreover, God cannot be confined to any one place or to any one people.
Given God’s power to be anywhere and everywhere, the Incarnation is all the more wondrous —what a mystery that God would choose to take up residence within the confines of the human condition. Is it not in
In today’s Gospel, Mary is honored as the living temple of the God made flesh. She is the dwelling place. She is the new ark, beyond all our reasonable expectations. She is tent and temple. God is physically in her, conceived as human. And she is the temple. She is the greater house, the fulfillment of the promise to David. But not only she is the temple, we too are the locus to experience God’s presence. Because the baptized now house the Spirit of God, they are, in effect, God’s temple.
Can we like Mary hear a voice that announces that God is nigh? That we are blessed. That we are favored.
God calls us to do more than build a house for His Presence. He calls us to be the House of His Presence. He calls us to radiate His Reality to a world that looks for a Savior, that longs for a Savior.
Gabriel spoke to Mary and the world waited for her answer. Today in the baptism of Bella Pagan the parents,