God Loves Us
We are often told that God loves us. In fact the Scriptures tell us that God loved us first. We often seem to forget this. Perhaps this is because of our own personal sins if we are not really energetic enough to accept and work with God’s graces to overcome them. This first reading from Samuel is perhaps the most unpleasant experience that King David ever had in his life. In fact, if you read the entire section of 2 Samuel 12, you will come to understand the dynamics of sin. Some people think that he wrote the 51st Psalm as a result of this. David falls into the grave sin of adultery. In this encounter, David conceives a child in this affair. He cleverly orders Bathsheba’s husband Uriah home to make it look like Uriah is the father of the child, but Uriah is a dedicated soldier who refuses the luxury of being with his wife to be in solidarity with his fellow soldiers who are still in battle. Soldiers practiced continence when they were on a mission. To save his reputation, King David then arranged for the murder of Uriah in the guise of being killed in action. God, as we expect, was very angered by King David’s sinful actions. David thought, like many people today, that he could count on God to overlook his sins, but the reality is that we can only prove our love for God by following his commandments. God had given King David so many gifts, but the king gave into his passions and committed these horrendous sins. God then hands down some severe “sentences” for David. He will live to see his wives infidelity, as will his whole nation, his whole household will see all kinds of violence, including rape and incest, and his sons will try to overtake his kingdom. Finally, the child he conceived with Bathsheba will die. King David, like St. Peter, repented of his sins and God chose to spare his life, but what looks like punishments perdured.
You notice that I put quotation marks around “sentences.” One of the observations I have made in my almost 28 years of priesthood is that the sins of our parents seem to trickle down to our children. I have noticed that alcoholics parents, adulterous parents and divorced parents generally have children who end up doing the same. The sexual revolution seems to have made these problems more prominent, and now socially acceptable, in our present times. Now that abortion is legal, and about 40% of our population has had one (95% because of contraceptive failure), have you noticed the disrespect for human life? People are now seeing as “logical” physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. We are told that sins are never private and that they effect the whole of society. Well, I think this is becoming obvious. Legislation against owning guns is perhaps not the problem at all. There is a lot to be said for the Ten Commandments. There is a lot to be said about Holy Spirit speaking through the Catholic Church. The Church may be seen as “cramping our style,” but is it not a better solution then the horrible circumstances we are living in now? We cannot escape self-discipline and self-control. The Scriptures are constantly telling us how important it is. Without it we will never learn to love. In fact, we will never learn anything at all. Sin has disrupted the world, but Christ wants us to heal the world as best we can by accepting his graces. He gave us some powerful Sacraments to assist us, but they require us to do our part to .
make them effective. Even the children who suffer from the sins of their parents can be healed by the Sacraments Jesus has given us if they are worthily received. There is a great deal of hope possible for the future. Both King David and St. Peter are great examples of how we can do this
The Gospel shows us another dimension of people who are self-righteous. This prevailing tendency is what caused the death of Jesus and it continues to cause much havoc today. When we have overcome a tendency to sin or if we are plagued with a weakness, we become very critical of those who fall into the same sin. Just recall the Clinton affair. What is interesting about this woman in the Gospel of “ill repute” is that she has left her old sinful ways and is following Christ. But self-righteous people do not see that. In their mind, once a sinner, always a sinner. The bigger the sin, the less we seem to notice the change. During the McCarthy era, we had real concerns about Communism. But it came to a head when a lawyer finally said to Senator McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” At this time I think that Blessed John XXIII began to notice the same problem in the Church. Perhaps this is why he convened the Second Vatican Council.