January 28, 2014 - Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19
Psalm 24:7-10
Mark 3:31-35

David is being more careful this time. He tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem once before, but a man died. That time they put the Ark on an ox cart as if it were just another box. It almost fell off. This time they carry it in the way they are supposed to, and every six steps, David sacrifices two animals. When the Ark finally reaches the sanctuary, David makes many more offerings. He is being very careful to show the respect for the Ark which he did not do the first time.

What was the Ark? It was box. Inside the box were three items: the Ten Commandments, written on stone by the hand of God, some of the manna, the food that appeared in the desert, and the staff of Aaron, which proved that he was a priest. It was a box that contained three miracles. It was not an idol like the pagans worshipped. No one thought that it was God or that God was inside, but it represented the presence of God in Israel. Therefore, it had to be treated with the highest respect. We, in this church, have a box too. Inside that box is the Eucharist which is the Body and Blood and Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Law and the Priesthood and the Bread of Angels, all in the person of Jesus Christ. That means that the tabernacle is greater than the Ark of the Covenant, inasmuch as our covenant is better than the old covenant.

It is necessary then that our respect for the tabernacle should be greater than the respect that David had for the Ark. We show that respect not by sacrificing animals, but when we enter the church, we genuflect toward the tabernacle. We keep silent because we are in the presence of God himself. I have had people try to converse with me while I was at the tabernacle with the door open, as if we were not in the presence of the Most High God. We must cultivate an attitude of piety, which is the fear of the Lord. This does not appear automatically. We have to choose to be pious. It is easy to be impious. We must choose to be afraid, as afraid as we would be if we could see the mystery with our eyes. If God does not strike us dead for casual disrespect, let us be thankful for his mercy, but remain fearful of disrespecting him.