quod pro nobis traditum est

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Lord's Temple

Here is the homily for meditation from the final midweek Lenten service prior
to Holy Week. This year’s theme is “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord”

The Son of David (Solomon) Enters Jerusalem and Builds the Temple of the Lord /
El Hijo de David (Salomón) Entra Jerusalén y Edifica el Templo del Señor
1 Kings / Reyes 1:32-40 - Lent V – April 5, 2006 Saint Stephen, Milwaukee

And King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king. The king also said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon. There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, and he shall be king in my place. For I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.” Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! May the Lord God of my lord the king say so too. As the Lord has been with my lord the king, even so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.” So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and took him to Gihon. Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound. (1 Kings 1:32-40)

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Here we see that David's son, Solomon, is anointed king to reign on his father's throne and not Adonijah who sought the throne against the king's will. David is old and ready to depart in the peace of the Lord. David's sin brought the death of one of his sons. Another of his sons was killed in battle as he sought to overthrow his father. The Lord promised to David that he would establish his house and throne forever. Now He provides David and His people a new king, his own son, Solomon. And Adonijah bows in fear to the will of God.

Solomon means "man of peace" and he typifies the peace and rest that God grants to His people as He establishes His eternal throne. This man is not perfect, just like his father David. Yet Solomon is the one chosen to enter Jerusalem on the royal mule where he is anointed as King by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet. This new king brings rejoicing to the people. He is the king who will build and dedicate the great Temple for God's people.

The people of God have no God if they do not have the Temple. This is the place where the Lord causes His glory to dwell. In the wilderness He was with them in the pillar of cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night. He will now dwell with His people in the Temple. There is the place where He is gracious and manifests His presence among His people. There is the place where the people of God find His graciousness and peace.

Solomon is the king whom He chose to make this possible. But he is not the only king. The Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to another son of David. At Jesus' baptism He was anointed in the water and the Spirit. Jesus was made manifest as God's Son by the voice of His Father from heaven. God's mercy to David and his children and through them to all people is manifest in Jesus the location of God's presence and grace among men. Jesus comes to save people from their sins. He is the chosen Son of Man who enters Jerusalem on a donkey as God's people shout, "Hosanna to the Son of David." They do not know that He goes to die but they know that He is their king. The Temple will eventually be destroyed and Jesus' crucifixion on the cross will bring everlasting peace to people, as He becomes the sacrifice for our sins.

The Temple then is raised again in three days. Jesus' body is raised and glorified. He ascends to reign forever over heaven and earth. He reigns on earth for His people at the altars of His Church until the Last Day. This Body given unto death and this Blood shed for the forgiveness of sins is the ongoing feast, the ongoing place of Christ's gracious and manifest presence among His people. Therefore it is no surprise that throughout the history of the Church Lent was the time for catechesis in preparation for Baptism and then the Lord's Supper. Here God's people pick up their crosses and follow Him, denying the world and their sinful flesh and trusting in the Good Shepherd to guide and protect them. The Incarnate Son of God does just that through His Cross and Passion to the Sacrament that is given for us. Look at the Altar for that is where you see the Temple and where you are led to the City of our God, the new Jerusalem.

May God grant His mercy and peace to His people as they gather in His name and in His presence in remembering the Passion of Our Lord. All glory be to the Son who with the Father and the Spirit reign now and forever.

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