The First reading at Mass on Sunday, the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, comes at a point of crisis in the story of David, Israel’s King. Israel boasts of David, and yet David’s life has its sordid moments, and none more than his taking of Bethsheeba and murder of her husband to ‘hide’ the adultery.
David has been favoured over all Israel by God. And his betrayal of his dignity and honour is thus all the more striking.
Yet how easily and completely the spurned and sorrowful God is ready to forgive:
Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord the God of Israel says this, “I anointed you king over Israel; I delivered you from the hands of Saul; I gave your master’s house to you, his wives into your arms; I gave you the House of Israel and of Judah; and if this were not enough, I would add as much again for you. Why have you shown contempt for the Lord, doing what displeases him? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, taken his wife for your own, and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. So now the sword will never be far from your House, since you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”’
David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’
Then Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die.’
2 Samuel 12:7-10,13
- When did you last give the gift of mercy?
Bring your thoughts and feelings to God in prayer.
Our Lady of Montserrat and the Spirit of Mercy, Montserrat. (c) 2003, Allen Morris.