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When David danced with abandon before the Ark of the Covenant as he was bringing it up to Mount Zion after it had been in exile since the time of complacent Eli and his evil sons Hophni and Phinehas (who were stealing from the sacrifices and raping the women), his lack of dignity in his dancing in the eyes of Michal did not involve any sort of nakedness (as evil translators have put it), but rather a revelation of the joy of his interior soul.

Michal said he revealed himself like any of the young men would do before the women, that is, in their partying, braggart ways. She was condemning him for being a partying braggart, drawing attention to himself for the sake of the onlooking women.

David was indeed revealing much, that is, much theologically, much about the Lord of History, much about the relationship of the chosen people with God, all of it right over her head, she not wanting to see it, she so set in her ways against the greatness that God was bringing once again to the greater Israel. She wanted to slouch on in mediocrity.

David was revealing what Samuel had done for him. David was acting the part of the King in taking care of the needs of the people with the food he gave them, the part of prophet in donning the Ephod (much like the massive cope worn by priests to this day), the part of the priest in making the sacrifices and in bringing the Ark of the Covenant up to Mount Zion, true pole of the earth, the Great King’s city. David was not of the priestly line of Aaron but rather of the line of Jesse, of a nobody, so that he was without priestly lineage, but was anointed priest, prophet and king in the line, as it were, of Melchizedek. And the Ark of the Covenant was back again. This calls for rejoicing. He is David. He must dance. And he has to say it: “I AM DAVID.”

In this series:

Also, just to say, joy in the Lord is very good.

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I AM DAVID

I read I Am David it seems decades ago. I think my mom, a voracious reader, slipped it to me one day under the title North to Freedom. I didn’t know it’s now a movie starring Ben Tibber, Jim Caviezel and Joan Plowright. My mom wanted to call me David, my middle name now as my dad won out with George for a first name, but this was an argument that when on throughout the years of my childhood with the nickname “Jordan” being used as a compromise. David means “beloved” in Hebrew: I Am Beloved. Yikes!

A reader mentioned I Am David in an email this morning. The memories flood back. How many times the words “I am David” came to mind and were repeated by me throughout my life whenever the going got tough. This would be my defiant and proud battle song: “I AM DAVID!” An example:

Some of my ordination cards, all hand made, asked for prayers from Saint David, as had the litany of saints in the Ordination Rite, for which someone roundly condemned me, criticizing both King David and the Hebrew Scriptures and even the work I had put into making the cards. That made me sad, but at the same time I entrenched all the more in my ever more lively secret now ardent in my heart: “I AM DAVID!”

Saying such a thing now, well, it makes me instantly and sheepishly turn to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, for he is the Son of David and Jesus is very much beloved. He knows what it is to have a secret, the Father’s love, which he reveals to us in himself. Whatever the flurry and fury on the outside, we dwell with him and he with us. And if I should say to him, “I AM DAVID!” he says in response…

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