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PLACING OUR COMPLETE TRUST IN GOD

Father Francis's picture
Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Sam. 24:2, 9-17 & Mk. 6:1-6

What is wrong in having a census? It might have been that David was acting as a prudent ruler but, in doing so, he offended God.

A head count gave a king power over his subjects, a little like the power that tax records and driver's licenses give modern governments. Census results could be milked for information about levying taxes, conscription for the army, or even finding able-bodied workers for forced labour.

David's census represented an attempt to increase his control. It meant the anointed king, handpicked by God, was acting less like an agent of the Lord and more like an independent ruler who felt he could do whatever he liked with his possession. His census offended God and in punishment for numbering the people, the Lord sent a pestilence. He failed to trust that God would take care of him and his people.

David prayed that the Lord strike him, the shepherd who had done wrong, not the people who are the innocent sheep. His humble repentance won God's heart, both restoring his relationship with God and even ending the punishment Israel had to suffer. Our repentance, likewise, we must keep in mind, will do more than just make us right with God. It will unleash divine grace to help us overcome our weaknesses and tendencies to sin.

God wants us to trust Him today and every day, in good times and in bad, when we feel weak or when we feel strong. We must not let ambition, or the desire to have complete control over our lives, get the better of us. David was forgiven because of his desire to repent and to be reconciled to God, which is an example of faith that can teach us all how to trust God, even when faced with our sins.

You would have thought that the people who had known the young Jesus would have been proud of Him. But when He came back home to meet and speak to them they had no time for Him! Why? Were they jealous? Or so short-sighted that they failed to see the spiritual giant Who had grown up among them? Whatever the reason, the greatest teacher in the world stood before them - and they learnt nothing from Him! As a result of their lack of faith they failed to experience the power of His miracles. How true were the words of Jesus, “A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house?”

Those people were unable to grasp the greatness of Jesus. But let us not be too quick to judge them because we, too, could be blind like them. Do we fail to see God in the people we meet and in the everyday events of life? We tend to look for God in the unfamiliar and unexpected, and fail to realise that He is there before our very eyes in the sufferings and joys of the people with whom we live. All we need to do is to open our eyes to the people of our community and the events of our time. God is closer to us than we might think! Let us meet Him in the lives of all the people we meet.

Heavenly Father, may we who have sinned against You, trust in Your merciful love when we repent. And may we recognize Your Son Jesus Christ in the people we meet on our everyday lives.

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