Today’s first reading tells about the sinfulness of David. In short, he sees a beautiful woman bathing named Bathsheba; he finds out she’s married to the leader of his army’s “armor bearer” named Uriah; he summons the woman and has relations with her; she gets pregnant; David sends for her husband to coerce him to have relations with his wife; when that does not work, he gets him drunk but Uriah goes to sleep in a bed among David’s servants; David tells his army leader to go back to the battle and put Uriah on the front line and then pull back; Uriah is killed.
Could you imagine what social media would be talking about if David had done this today? I think many people today have little tolerance for selfish actions like this and not too much mercy. David brought great darkness to God’s Kingdom. I said this last sentence because all the power in my neighborhood just went out. It is pitch black with the exception of my battery driven laptop screen. Darkness = the absence of Light. David thought only of himself, his gratification and cover-up that left him in darkness.
I did not want to dwell on David’s sin but more on his repentance and God’s mercy. Psalm 51 and today’s response from the title is David’s repentant lament to God. It’s one a sinful man like me needs to pray.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.”
The Lord was very merciful to David and as I believe he will be for me, there was still a great penance David would have to pay for his sin. Like David, I think that my sufferings in my life today are the redemptive sufferings for my terrible sinfulness. As my God loved David, he loves me and his great passion and death on a cross proves his love for me. I can do the same for him.