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)

“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”

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.”