Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Rights of Royalty

By Melanie Rigney
With his whole being (David) loved his Maker and daily had his praises sung; he set singers before the altars and by their voices he made sweet melodies, he added beauty to the feasts and solemnized the seasons of each year so that when the Holy Name was praised, before daybreak the sanctuary would resound. The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever; he conferred on him the rights of royalty and established his throne in Israel. (2 Sirach 47:8-11)
Blessed be God my salvation! (Psalm 18:47)
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.” But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up. (Mark 6:14-16)

Lord, may our praises of you add beauty to this world and soften the hearts of those who have rejected you.

David loved God. There can be no question of that. He messed up, royally messed up, on more than one occasion. Yet his love was lived out on an equally large scale: in his confidence the Lord would protect him in the face-off against Goliath, in the beautiful psalms that he wrote for the Father, in the delivery of the Ark of the Covenant.

David understood that people were watching him as a warrior and a ruler and a follower of the Lord, and attempted to live in a way pleasing to the Lord. Often, he succeeded. David also understood that some outward evidence of faith and praise—the music of his psalms, the beauty of the feasts, the resounding of the sanctuary—would not only reinforce and unite the believers but attract the curiosity of those who had not yet come to God. People respond that way to beauty; it stirs our souls, and once we’ve found it, we want more of it.

What exactly were those “rights of royalty” bestowed on David by the Lord? His kingship, certainly. But I’d like to think it was more than that, that it included the honor and responsibility to introduce others to God and to reflect the joy of life with him to all. The honor and responsibility didn’t end with David, or John the Baptist or Jesus, for that matter. In that way, we all have been blessed with the rights of royalty.  

What can you do today at home or in your parish to make a celebration of the Lord more inviting to all?

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