In the first reading today from the book of Samuel, God reveals his promise of faithfulness and mercy toward David.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
And if he does wrong,
I will correct him with the rod of men
and with human chastisements;
but I will not withdraw my favor from him.
God’s promise was directed to David as King of the people of Israel. In that earlier time, it was the king who acted as the conduit between God and his people. His relationship with the people was dependent upon God’s favor continuing to rest upon the king. In this passage, God promises that he will continue to be merciful to David (and the people of Israel) as a father is merciful to his son.
By the incarnation of Jesus, the relationship between God and us is radically transformed. Jesus is the new promise. No longer are we dependent upon the righteous behavior of a leader to receive God’s favor and mercy. Through Jesus Christ, we are all called to an intimate, personal relationship with God. It is our individual response to his promise that will determine whether or not we remain in his favor.
Let us today embrace the new promise of love and mercy, our Lord Jesus Christ!