David has very good intentions in the first reading. He was living in a palace, quite comfortable, but the Tent in which the Ark of the Covenant was just that… a tent. In the Ark, Moses had place the Tablets of the Law which God gave his people. This was the place where God dwelled among his people. David wanted to build a Temple, a worthy house, in which God would dwell. However, notice what God tells him “He will build the house” Not David, but God himself.
David’s son, Solomon does build a magnificent Temple which replaced the Tent of Presence. The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies. A part of Solomon’s Temple remains in Jerusalem today; the Wailing Wall which is one of most sacred sites for the Jewish Nation.
But, this Temple was not the house God told David built. The Temple was destroyed three times and rebuilt until it was almost completely destroyed in 78AD by the Romans.
The reality for us is that God’s Temple was never destroyed. God’s Temple was born in the womb of the Virgin Mary….God took flesh and dwelt among us or the more accurate translation is that he pitched his Tent among us….a direct reference back to the Temple of presence which held the Ark with the Tablets of the Law. Mary, by her yes to the angel, becomes the New Ark of the Covenant, She becomes the God Bearer. Jesus is the New Temple…. within him dwells the fullness of divinity and humanity. God fulfillment of his promise to build a house is Jesus, the Incarnate Word.
As we quickly approach the celebration of Christmas in a few short hours, let us pray for the grace to see that God has made a home among us …. not in a manager scene, but in the person of Jesus his Son.