Today’s Saint: Marianne Cope (Jan. 23, 1838 – Aug 9, 1918)
2 Samuel 6:12b – 15..19 – Ps. 24 – Mark 3:31-35
“Come blessed of my Father, says the Lord; I was sick and you visited me.” (Today’s Entrance Ant.)
The quote, above, which I began today’s reflection with seems to resonate with the scripture reading from 2nd Samuel and the story of David bringing the Arc of the Covenant into the city. The Arc was a sign of the tangible presence of God to the people of the Old Testament. St. Thomas Aquinas spent his life pondering the mysteries of God’s presence to the world. In the end, he, himself, would admit that he had only scratched the surface – even in his brilliance – and everything that he had written was just like straw.
When the Israelites were just getting a sense of their belonging to God by enshrining the Arc of the Covenant they knew that they only had a smidgen of God’s Glory. Some say the two tablets of the Decalogue were housed in the Arc along with a jar of “Manna,” Aaron’s Rod and the 1st Torah.
Nonetheless, it was enough for the people to sense their allegiance to a God who had chosen them as His special people and led them through their difficult times. With this in mind, we might think, like St. Thomas, that it was just insignificant objects – a lot of straw – but it shows us that this Great God Almighty can be found in the smallest bits of His creation which we are bound to respect and give due honor.
St. Thomas Aquinas came to realize that every bit of creation has some spark of God’s creative presence and is due honor and respect. This past weekend, San Francisco hosted the 10th Annual “Walk for Life.” Thousand’s of people made a public display of their belief that God is present to us from the moment of our conception to our natural death. Our Scripture readings from the 2nd Book of Samuel seem to skip the section where David put on a very public display of bringing the Arc into the town by dancing wildly in procession. (2nd Samuel 6:16)
Michal the daughter of Saul saw David dancing and thought he was making a fool of himself. His response to her was, “I wasn’t dancing for the people. I was doing it for the Lord, God.” (2nd Samuel 6:21)
In today’s Holy Gospel from Mark, Jesus’ disciples call to him that his mother and brothers are outside waiting to get in. In reply Jesus says, “Who are my mother and my brothers? Looking around he said … whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:34-35)
What’s our “bottom line” for today? We can take a lesson from the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas who searched into the depths of God’s being and didn’t come away saying, “I have found the Glory of God in all His magnificence as I mystically entered into His presence.”
He came away saying, “I have not even scratched the surface of the wonder of God. Everything that I have written is just so much straw.” A reminder to all of us that God is found in the smallest spark of His presence. Don’t miss the “pearl of great price” that might be right at your feet, while you’re staring at some far off mountain top. Thanks to St. Thomas Aquinas for showing us this wonder. Amen!