This Sunday's Readings l 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time
The 1st reading for this Sunday is about one of my favorite people: King David. The Bible describes David as a man “after God's own heart". (1st Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22) David has a heart for God; he has an authentic desire for God. However, David has an divided heart, for he is a man capable of great holiness as well as great sin.
2nd Samuel 11 begins with: “At the turn of the year, the time when kings go to war, David sent out Joab along with his officers and all Israel, and they laid waste the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David himself remained in Jerusalem." David is King of Israel. He has responsibilities. He is supposed to lead. He is supposed to lead his troops into battle. However, David has a divided heart. Instead of making the choice to do what God has asked him to do, David makes the choice to “remain in Jerusalem".
His men leave ... David stays behind ... and eventually David gives into to lust and has his affair with Bathsheba. But, things get worse; Bathsheba conceives and David soon murders her husband to hide his sin.
Chapter 11 is soon followed by chapter 12. In the 1st reading at Mass we hear how the prophet Nathan is sent by God to speak with David. Nathan delivers a sobering exhortation and David is moved to repentance exclaiming, “I have sinned against the Lord."
So, yes, David sinned ... but, when? Of course, we'll all look to chapter 11. We see the sin of his lust. We see the sin of his forcing Bathsheba. We see the sin of his murder of Uriah. However, all of this was preceded by the smallest detail: “David himself remained in Jerusalem." David's big sin was preceded by lots of little ones.
You and I are a lot like David. We too are disciples “after God's own heart". However, you and I also know our selfishness; we know too well our sin. Most of us fall into the same pattern of sin because we often miss the little things along the way. Holiness is as much about discerning the little things as it is discerning the big things. If you and I mature in our discipline of discerning the little things, I promise you that the battle with the bigger things will get easier.
How are you doing with the little things: daily prayer, Sunday Mass, monthly Confession, etc? Recommit to doing the little things.
Imagine ... what would have happened if David would have done so?
© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013
Today @ IPF:
The seminarians are off for the weekend. They're due back at Night Prayer 9:00 PM on Sunday night.
Back home in Louisiana this weekend. Will be at Christ the Redeemer for Masses. Looking forward to seeing y'all.
Today's Quote from B16:
“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”
- Deus Caritas Est, no. 1