In the first reading this Sunday, King David had a great idea. He was going to build God a house. He felt bad that he lived in a really nice place (probably had a pool and a three-chariot garage). God lived in a tent. Nathan, God’s prophet and advisor to the king agreed that it was a neat idea. Imagine it; Israel’s strong and mighty King David. Money would be no object, and you can bet he’d have built God the most awesome house in the neighborhood. God told him otherwise. God wanted David to do other things. His son, Solomon, would get to be God’s contractor.
Contrast that with God’s plan in Sunday’s Gospel. He would have an unmarried, barely-literate, poor teenage girl conceive a child, and that child would be the Son of God. Hmmm, King of an entire nation; wealthy, powerful, David, or humble, uneducated simple Mary of Nazareth. Whose plan would you choose?
Over and again we opt for the big and powerful, only to see our plans fall flat. We look for wealth, influence, and education. God looks for simplicity, humility, and faith. We look for earthly success. God looks for eternal joy.