What We Can Learn From Sin And Sorrow

Friday of Week 3 in Ordinary Time - Cycle II

2 Sam. 11:1-4, 5-10, 13-17 & Mk. 4:26-34

There is no need to read paperbacks or watch television to see sex and violence - we can find plenty of it in the pages of the Bible!

Today's story is a classic and we can perfectly understand all the attraction, fear, conniving and regret which are found here. We have a powerful king, who normally would have been on the battlefield, but because no war was waging he remained at home. With time on his hands he sees a lovely and lonely woman bathing at a nearby house. He cannot ignore her beauty and she cannot reject the invitation of the king. Their affair leaves her pregnant. When David learnt of this his first thought was to try to deceive her husband. He encouraged Uriah to go home to his wife, hoping that at the birth everyone would believe the child was his. When this plot failed, he told his general to make sure that Uriah was placed in the thick of the battle and be killed. Now he could have Bathsheba all to himself.

Like most people at some point in their lives, David experienced a moment of overwhelming temptation which he could not resist. Having committed one offence, on impulse, he found himself caught up in a complicated plot which led him inexorably to greater and greater sins. But by God's grace he repented and poured out his sorrow in that beautiful Psalm 51, the Miserere. David never forgot the pain he had caused through his sins to God, Uriah and Bathsheba, but he was convinced of God's mercy and total forgiveness.

As a priest I find that there are people who are not convinced of God's forgiveness. They have expressed their sorrow to God many times, personally but in the Confessional, yet they are unable to believe that He has forgiven them. We must never forget that our heavenly Father is more ready to forgive us than we are ready to say sorry. Like David, we must sincerely repent of our sins, trust in God's forgiveness and then, in love and gratitude, put the past behind us, doing our best to live better lives.

Jesus makes the comparison in the Gospel with a farmer whose most difficult time is when the ground must be prepared for the seed to be sown. When the harvest is gathered, the farmer forgets all the back-breaking work which went before.

We all have bad days. We look back and wonder how we got through them, but we know that God helped us. He gave us the strength to cope with trials in the past, and He continues to support us in present difficulties. Realizing this should give us hope and courage for the future. The harvest God will give us at life’s end will be worth any struggle now if we remain true to Him.

Lord Jesus, life will always bring its crosses, but none will be as heavy as Yours was. Let us remember how You carried Yours when we have to carry ours, knowing that we can rely on You to help us carry them.