Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I was not familiar with this passage from 2 Samuel, so I went back to the bible and read a bit around it, as well as some footnotes and cross-references. I now understand that these events happened after they attempted to transport the ark of God on a new cart (which was forbidden) by people who were not of the family of Koath (which was also forbidden). While that was happening, David and others danced and rejoiced because they thought what they were doing was good, efficient, and pleasing to God (though was actually disobeying God).
When one of the oxen stumbled, Uzzah, one of the people transporting the ark on the new cart, reached out to stop the ark from falling off (though it was forbidden to touch the ark). God instantly struck Uzzah down because of his insensitiveness to the sacredness of the ark (which was much more than a reflex reaction to stop it from falling). David was angry and confused about God striking down Uzzah, and decided to leave the ark of God with Obed-Edom, who was of the family of Koath (the family that was not forbidden to carry/care for the ark), for several months until David learned that God blessed that family for having the ark in their home (thus, obeying God).
When we get to today’s first reading, we see David rejoicing more than he was during the first attempt of transporting the ark and giving more frequent and more extravagant offerings to the Lord than was necessary. Once the ark was successfully brought in and put in its place, David continued to make offerings to the Lord and shared a meal with all of the people present.
It may seem tempting to think that there are more “efficient” or “practical” or “relevant” ways to do God’s will in our present day and age than what was originally passed down through our Catholic faith and Tradition. David thought that it would be better to transport the ark on a new and improved cart rather than the way God commanded them to. God was clearly not happy with them disobeying his commands, but notice how quickly God’s anger turned to mercy once they repented and did what was right.
God’s love and mercy is so great and present the moment we turn towards Him, and isn’t that something to rejoice about? The Old Testament seems to have all sorts of occasions for making offerings and celebrating with dancing and feasts; although it may look very different nowadays, the concept still remains.
When was the last time you celebrated- truly celebrated- the great love and mercy of God? Let’s not take anything for granted. The life and death of Jesus Christ was no small matter; let us pay Him homage and celebrate with thanksgiving this second chance we were given to choose God!
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How do I fall into the same way of thinking that David did- that I can do things better my own way than God's way?
Where in my life have I seen God's mercy instead of his judgment? How can I look for mercy more?
When was the last time I celebrated all that God has done for me? How can I bring more gratitude and celebration into my life today?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Have mercy on me, Lord."
"Thank you, Jesus."
"Not my will, but your will."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Find a way to celebrate God's love and mercy in your life today: maybe through feasting and treating yourself to something special to eat or pampering yourself in a small way, gathering with friends to celebrate in a community, or spend extra time in prayer thanking God for his love.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco, a music therapist for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cincinnati.
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