Day 142: Whole and Joyful Hearts

2 Samuel 24:1-25 David sinned by calling for a census of the people and exacting a fee, or ransom, from each person. Such a census is helpful to a monarch only for exacting taxes, a military draft, or forcing people into labor; furthermore, a census denotes that the people belong to the monarch, whereas the people of Israel and their monarch together belong to God. A brief but deadly pestilence was David’s elected punishment. Afterward, David atoned for his sin by building an altar in Jerusalem and offering a burnt sacrifice; this altar was highly significant since it became the site of Israel’s first and most important glorious Temple and ultimately where the Redemption would take place. (CCC 268-271, 2594)


1 Chronicles 29:1-30 David donated all of his riches generously for the construction of the Temple, which in turn elicited large contributions from various military commanders, tribal leaders, and family patriarchs. His final prayer was one of praise and thanksgiving to God in which he acknowledged his own deficiencies, the Lord’s great providence, and the need for all the people to remain faithful to God’s covenant. He also petitioned God to bestow ample blessings upon Solomon. With David’s death and Solomon’s succession, the Davidic dynasty continued.


Ch 29:20 Bless the Lord your God: We can bless the Lord because he first takes the initiative to shower blessings on us. We respond through prayers of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. (CCC 2645)


Psalm 30 Just as night gives way to dawn, death gives way to new life. The Church has always understood this psalm to be an Easter hymn, pointing to Christ’s definitive triumph over death through his glorious Resurrection. No matter what kind of suffering or hardship we experience here on earth, a glorious resurrection of our bodies awaits us if we are faithful. The experience of pain and weakness lead us to a greater reliance on God's grace and strength. This psalm fosters an eager expectation for life everlasting: because God has power over death, it cannot have the last word for those who are faithful to him. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, May 12, 2004)


Dedication of the Temple: This hymn was sung apparently for the first Jewish Feast of Purification, which commemorated the reconsecration of the Temple in 146 BC, following its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (cf. 2 Mac 10:1-8). This psalm is one of thanksgiving, implicitly for the restoration of the Temple but explicitly for a recovery from illness. It is prayed after the Fourth Readings at the Mass of the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, which includes several readings that narrate the history of our redemption. (CCC 697, 2580)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • Here we are in the last chapters of 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles and they are really remarkable

  • In 2 Samuel Ch 24 we hear the story of David taking the census

  • Do you remember why this was a big deal?

  • We need to realize that The Bible sometimes can be translated in a way that confuses us

  • For example, the beginning of 2 Samuel Ch 24 it says, “The Lord incited David to take the census…”

  • BUT…

  • In 1 Chronicles Ch 21 the census is incited by the EVIL ONE, not by the Lord

  • So this is confusing

  • But we recognize that when David says he has sinned, GOD DOES NOT LEAD HIM INTO SIN

  • St. James said in his letter, “Whenever we are led into sin, we NEVER say that God has TEMPTED us to sin. God NEVER tempts us to sin.”

  • So there is an issue here in the understanding

  • The understanding is that David was moved SOMEHOW to take a census

  • Whether he was moved BY HIMSELF

  • Whether he was moved BY THE EVIL ONE

  • Why do we know this is evil?

  • Why is this so bad?

  • Remember, the Book of Numbers begins and ends WITH A CENSUS

  • BUT…

  • The Book of Numbers is about how GOD preserved the people of Israel

  • At the beginning of Numbers, God delivered them from SLAVERY

  • At the end of Numbers, God led them through the DESERT WILDERNESS

  • This was all about how GOD SAVED HIS PEOPLE

  • Now, we have David taking a census in order to know “how well he was doing”

  • David wanted to know what kind of “power” he had

  • David was taking OWNERSHIP of the people rather than taking STEWARDSHIP of GOD’S people

  • THAT IS THE MAIN ISSUE

  • David gets HUMBLED by this

  • David reveals his heart

  • His heart is a heart that is OPEN TO BE CONVERTED

  • It is not a HARD HEART

  • It is not a heart that gives into RESENTMENT or CORRUPTION

  • It is a heart that CAN STILL BE CONVERTED

  • David is pointing out that “All these people are suffering because I made this evil decision.”

  • So David places his heart and life on the line in REPENTANCE

  • David offers SACRIFICE on behalf of the people before the Lord God

  • That is REALLY important

  • We now have a transition between 2 Samuel and 1 Kings starting tomorrow

  • David still has to bestow the kingdom to his son, Solomon

  • There will be intrigue there as we start 1 Kings

  • But we recognize here that this is the end of David’s life

  • Even at the end of his life, DAVID IS OPEN TO BEING CONVERTED

  • Even at the end of his life, DAVID IS OPEN TO REPENTANCE OF THE EVIL HE DID

  • 1 Chronicles Ch 29 we see David giving FREELY and WHOLEHEARTEDLY to his son, Solomon

  • Solomon is still young and inexperienced

  • Gold for gold things

  • Silver for silver things

  • Iron for iron things

  • This will be KEY as we end 1 Chronicles and begin 2 Chronicles

  • BEING OF A WHOLE HEART

  • David tells Solomon to love the Lord your God with your WHOLE HEART

  • Solomon doesn’t do that

  • Solomon ends up loving God with a DIVIDED HEART

  • But here, David has a WHOLE HEART

  • What does he do?

  • David WHOLEHEARTEDLY and FREELY gives of his own materials

  • He’s collected a bunch of gold, silver, and other things EXPRESSLY FOR THE TEMPLE

  • He has also collected a bunch of spoils of battle for himself

  • These were his own property

  • He freely and wholeheartedly gives these things for the Temple

  • So all the other people of the Kingdom of Israel follow David’s example and also give WHOLEHEARTEDLY and FREELY to the Lord

  • This brings JOY to David

  • WHY?

  • Because it gives JOY to the Lord when we LOVE HIM WITH OUR WHOLE HEART

  • It gives JOY to the Lord when we GIVE WITHOUT RESENTMENT

  • It gives JOY to the Lord when we GIVE JOYFULLY

  • The Lord loves a cheerful giver

  • People come forth WILLINGLY and JOYFULLY with a WHOLE HEART to give to the Lord FOR HIS GLORY

  • To line the walls of the Temple with marble and silver and gold

  • It is REMARKABLE to recognize this movement

  • The movement is, “How can I love the Lord with a WHOLE HEART and not with a DIVIDED HEART?”

  • “How can I move FORWARD AND JOYFULLY GIVE?”

  • That is the first test for SO MANY OF US

  • Are we willing to GIVE?

  • Not just out of our EXCESS, but out of our NEED?

  • The NEXT STEP is can we JOYFULLY GIVE?

  • Not just out of our EXCESS, but out of our NEED?

  • That is a BIG CHALLENGE for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US

  • How can I love the Lord WITH MY WHOLE HEART?

  • How can I give JOYFULLY out of my NEED, not just my EXCESS?

  • THAT BRINGS JOY

  • That brings JOY to the heart of David

  • That brings JOY to the heart of those who love the Lord

  • That brings JOY to the heart of the Lord as well

  • To have that kind of heart, we need God’s GRACE

  • Because that’s NOT how our hearts are oriented

  • That’s NOT who we are NATURALLY

  • BUT…

  • It is who we can become SUPERNATURALLY

  • So we come before the Lord and pray,


“Lord God, help me to love you with a WHOLE HEART. Help me to serve you with a WHOLE HEART. Help me to GIVE with a WHOLE AND JOYFUL HEART. Amen”


  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we do give you thanks and we give you praise. It is true that weeping may last for the entire night. Weeping may last for an entire season. Weeping may last for so long. But joy truly does come with the morning. Joy truly does come with the rising of the sun. And joy comes even in the midst of grief, with the rising of your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord God, we know that we are faithful to you when it suits us. Help us to be faithful to you at all times. We are faithful to you in good seasons and we ask you to please help us to be faithful to you in all seasons. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”