King David, Snow, Contemplation

Getting ready to batten down some hatches here in the Roanoke Valley.  I haven’t missed a March for Life in twenty years.  But my mom talked me out of braving it.

If you have any mind to go to either the 7:30 Mass tomorrow at St. Gerard’s, or noon at St. Andrew’s, think again.  Same goes for 5:30 Mass on Saturday and 7:30 Sunday morning.

St. Andrew’s and St. Gerard’s will re-open for business on Sunday morning at 9:00 and 9:30, respectively.  And don’t forget the 5:00pm Mass at St. Gerard’s on Sunday afternoon!

We present a couple little homilies for daily readings this week…

The women sang to one another as they made merry, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him; he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on. (I Samuel 18:7-9)


RG III locker

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
 If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
 If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

If you follow sports news, you know that Robert Griffin III left these words in his locker, after he cleaned it out and took his leave of the Washington Redskins.  Mother Teresa kept these words on her wall.

Not sure if RG III counts as a kind of young David, who slew Goliath, only to make King Saul angry and envious.  Maybe beating the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in 2012 counts as slaying Goliath.  But I’m gonna leave the debate about quarterbacks to the experts.

mothertheresaOn the other hand, King David certainly earned the right to put these words in his locker, if he had one.

The Psalms reveal that King David loved God above all.  David found his strength and peace in God, even when people to whom he had done no wrong turned against him.

But the Psalms also reveal that King David knew his faults.  He knew that he, too, was a sinner.  He knew that he needed other people to be patient with him.

Mother Teresa knew that, too, of course.  I think that’s the difference between those beautiful words from her wall being truly beautiful and inspiring, vs. being paranoid and self-righteous.

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. (Mark 2:27)

God made the sabbath.  He made the sabbath by observing it Himself.  Not because He had tired Himself out, making the heavens and the earth–the omnipotent Creator does not suffer from fatigue.

No, He made the sabbath because He did not fashion the cosmos for the sake of endless fuss and bothering, but rather for contemplation.

He did not make everything to be useful.  Some of the things He made are eminently useful, to be sure.  The wool of sheep can make a sweater.  But He made everything not necessarily to be useful, but simply to be true.  It’s hard to see how an orchid can find a lot of practical uses.  But orchids are beautiful.

Creation was created to be contemplated.  By whom?  By God Himself, by the angels, and by us.  The sabbath reveals why we exist:

Working hard keeps us out of trouble.  It brings out our talents.  And we meet other people.  Hard work does us a lot of good. But God did not make us to work hard endlessly.  He made us to contemplate endlessly.


4 thoughts on “King David, Snow, Contemplation

  1. Hi Father Mark. As a parish we need to be always mindful of those in need. I hope we can sometime have a discussion that in time of serious weather/power outages, we can utilize our facility to temporarily shelter (not overnight), feed, or simply offer and enjoy a hot cup of coffee to those less fortunate, without power, or just lonely. My heart is hurting today for those people.

  2. Glad to know you are not too old to listen to your Mother. Stay safe. We are ready in Upper Marlboro. Keep my son and his wife in your prayers, they are career firefighters and will be out in this mess. Up side we get to keep our 2 yr. old grandson during the storm.

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