The combined readings today from 2 Samuel 7:1-16~ and Luke 1:26-38 give us insights into two things. First, we see examples of people who have the desire to serve God, which is perfectly normal for true disciples. Secondly, however, we see a contrast in approaches to humility and obedience. It is this second area that causes human beings the most difficulty.
King David was a sincere man. He truly recognised that his military and political victories were only because God had blessed him in a special way. So, after he was secure and in control of the political situation (having united the divided northern and southern tribes), he decided to build a fitting temple for his God—one to replace the portable lodging for the Ark of the Covenant. Even the court prophet, Nathan, agreed with him. However, they neglected one thing: they both forgot to recognise God’s will in this matter.
Surprise! God is going to build a “house” for David! He is the one in control, not David! And God’s house would last forever, because it was from David’s line or “house” that the Messiah would eventually come. David was obedient and humble to this word of God, even though it did come after being corrected.
In the gospel story we see a different approach. Mary starts out being humble and open to God’s presence and activity in her life. When given the surprise news (as an unmarried virgin) that she would be the mother of this expected son of David—and more, the Son of God—she immediately said “Yes.” Her habitual obedience to God in everyday life enabled her to understand properly that this was a word from God, which she accepted in all humility.
Mary is the perfect model for us. She invites us to surrender our wills to God daily, as she did; it is the obedience of faith. Ask the Holy Spirit to transform you into the image of her Son.
The knot of Eve’s disobedience in the garden of Paradise was untied in Nazareth by Mary’s obedience to and faith in God’s word. Mary represents the perfection of the obedience of faith.