Friday, January 31, 2020

Memorial of Saint John Bosco, priest

(II Samuel 11:1-4a.5-10a.13-17; Mark 4:26-34)

In an often cited passage the prophet Jeremiah laments human depravity.  He says, “More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy…” (Jeremiah 17:9).  Perhaps the prophet had today’s story of David in mind as he made the gloomy evaluation.

If David had only seduced the beautiful Bathsheba, his sin would have been grave but understandable.   What is so disconcerting, however, is the compound sin he commits to cover up his crime.  David not only has Bathsheba’s husband killed but does so in the wake of the man’s laudable loyalty.  Uriah sacrifices the opportunity to sleep in his own bed in order to support the king’s army.  It is also significant that he does so as a foreigner, that is without natural ties to the Israelite nation.

The story might chasten us.  We should take care not to sin at all.  But if we do fall, we need to straight away admit our guilt and ask forgiveness.  Above all, we should never cover up our faults by committing atrocities.