“Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming!” (Mark 11:10). “Hosanna to the son of David!” through whom life and salvation have come to us (Matt. 21:9). The psalms of David are the gospel of Jesus Christ in song, in transports of affection, in thanksgiving, and in holy desires. “This is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). This is where the psalms begin. The first shows the happiness of the one who keeps the law of God, and then, in the second, Jesus Christ appears. All the powers of the world conspire against him, and God, who laughs at them from on high, addresses his word to Jesus Christ himself, declaring him to be the son that he has begotten from all eternity (Ps. 2:7). From the beginning, this is the argument of all the psalms.
David saw him in the bosom of his father, “from the womb of the morning,” that is, before all time, and he saw that he would be his son and at the same time his lord (Ps. 110). David saw that he was a sovereign king, reigning by his beauty, by his graciousness, by his mildness, and by his justice, piercing the heart of his enemies by his just vengeance and the heart of his friends by a holy love. David adored him upon his eternal throne, like a God, whom “your God has anointed” with a holy ointment (Ps. 44), as the father and the protector of the poor, whose name will be honorable before him, as the powerful author of the blessing of the Gentiles (Ps. 70), as the preacher of a new law on the holy mountain of Zion (Ps. 2).
David saw all of the miracles of Christ’s life and all of the circumstances of his death; he meditated upon the mystery of it, whole and entire (Ps. 22, 69). In his mind he condemned the disciple who would sell Christ, and he saw his apostolate pass into other hands (Ps. 109).
Christ’s pierced hands and feet, his body violently thrown down and crucified, were the dear objects of his tenderness (Ps. 22:16). By his faith, David threw himself into the arms of Christ, stretched out to a people who had rejected him. He tasted the gall and vinegar that Christ was given in his thirst (Ps. 69:21). David saw everything, even the lots cast for his garments that were divided among them (Ps. 22:18). He was touched by the very least circumstances of Christ’s death and was unable to forget any of them. He rejoiced in spirit to see Christ, after his death, “proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn” (Ps. 22:31), in the great Church, where all the peoples of the world shall be united and where the poor, with the rich, shall be seated at his table. And David followed Christ when he “didst ascend the high mount, leading captives in [his] train” (Ps. 68:18). He adored him, seated at the right hand of the Lord (Ps. 110:5), where Christ was to take his place.
O Jesus, the rare delight, the unique hope, and the love of our father David! This is the reason David was “a man after the Lord’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). His tenderness for this dear son, who is the Son of God as well as his own, has gained him the heart of the eternal Father. If he thought so much about the suffering Jesus throughout his life, how much more did he think of him when he became his image in suffering himself. If he was mild to those who offended him; if he was mute, making no reply or defense; if, far from returning evil for evil, he repaid the imprecations of his enemies with prayer; if this good king offered himself to be the victim for his people, who had been laid low by the angel: he saw the example for all these deeds in Jesus. Should we be astonished that he was so humble and so patient in his flight before Absalom? The obedient son consoled him for the transports and the fury of his own ungrateful and rebellious son.
O Jesus, I come with David to unite myself to your wounds, to pay homage to you at the throne of your glory, to submit myself to your power. I rejoice, Son of David, for all your greatness. No, you have not known corruption (Ps. 16:10), for you are the Holy One of the Lord (Mark 1:24; cf. Luke 1:35). “Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fullness of joy” (Ps. 16:11). You “shall reign for ever and ever” and “your kingdom will have no end” (Rev. 11:15; cf. Luke 1:33).
Editor’s note: This article is from a meditation in Bishop Bossuet’s Meditations for Advent, which is available as an ebook or leatherette from Sophia Institute Press.