Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Samuel 15:13-14.30.16:5-13; Mark 5:1-20)
“The Son of Saul” recently premiered in the United States. It retells the story of the holocaust on the big-screen perhaps for the several hundredth time. Of course, it has a new perspective -- showing the ordeal of giving a ritual burial in Auschwitz. Yet it raises the question whether another movie exposing the genocide of Jews is necessary. Today’s first reading hints at an answer to the question.
King David is being betrayed by his son Absalom. He has racked much ruthlessness in solidifying the Jewish people. Now he has to pay the price of his sins. He finds the people drifting to Absalom a man of David’s prowess but not his cunning. David does not hide his faults. He even refuses to stop a crazed man from proclaiming them in public.
Egregious sins like David’s in his time and the twentieth century holocaust must be recollected. They indicate the evil which humans are capable of perpetrating. They also glimpse at what forgiveness after contrition brings. David will die in bed. Germans are the most reluctant people in Europe to experiment with physician-assisted suicide. These stories tell more than good coming out of evil. They show the need for repentance and reliance on God’s mercy.