Saturday, 1 February 2020 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we continue the discourse on the actions of king David of Israel when committed sin against God by his desire and lust for someone else’s wife, in this case Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David and Bathsheba succumbed to temptations and ended up with Bathsheba getting pregnant, and David tried to cover up the affair by making Uriah sleep with his wife. But when the upright and just Uriah refused to do so, David panicked and ended up plotting Uriah’s death in battle.

The prophet Nathan came to David and went through with him today the faults that he had done before God and men alike. Initially king David did not realise that when the prophet Nathan used a parable to explain, that he was actually referring to David’s unjust actions towards Uriah, in taking what was not his in the first place and instance, namely Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah as David’s own wife after Uriah was killed in battle.

David trusted his own instincts and ways of settling things in that matter rather than trusting in God or following His commandments. He succumbed to the temptation of desire and lust, allowing Satan to rock his righteous and just life, and ended up causing the death of an innocent man and a relationship that was essentially adultery in the eyes of God and the Law. But David then immediately regretted his actions once his eyes were opened by what the prophet Nathan shared with him, the blatant truth of his wicked and dark actions.

The firstborn son of that relationship between David and Bathsheba did die as the just retribution for David’s sinful action, but his genuine repentance in humbling himself totally before God and all of his people, as he fasted and humbled himself in sackcloth for God’s mercy, and accentuated in the Psalm we used today, which was composed by king David himself at precisely that moment when he felt the great regret over his terrible sins. But he also entrusted himself to God’s compassionate love and mercy.

He trusted that God has the power to overcome his sins and wickedness, by the grace of His mercy and forgiveness. And thus, while today we are presented with the unfortunate story of how the righteous and good king David fell into temptation and sin, but we are also reminded that in truth all of us are just like him. We are all sinners just like king David, easily tempted and vulnerable to sin. If we are dependent only on ourselves and only on our own strength as what king David foolishly did at that time, we are likely to fall.

It is what we can also learn from our Gospel passage today where we heard of the story of the moment when the disciples of the Lord were afraid that their boat would sink because of the fierce storm, the gale force winds and the huge waves that threatened to overcome them. This was because they did not have firm faith in God, Who was with them and Jesus Himself showed them that they had nothing to fear and really ought to have more faith in Him.

The boat also symbolically represent us all in the Church as the Church is often likened to that of a boat, with all of us the faithful people of God, the members of the Church as the passengers of the boat, travelling through the often rough waters representing the trials and challenges that are often found in our world. And the Lord, our God, is our Guide and our Navigator, in Whom we really ought to trust. No matter what happened, He has authority and control, as the disciples themselves said, ‘even the wind and the sea obey Him’.

If we panic and turn to drastic actions, depending on our own judgments and strengths, as king David experienced during his time when he sinned against God as mentioned earlier on, we will end up bringing ourselves further and further afflicted and in difficulty. We will end up getting trapped by the situation and by our own actions, dragging us down further and deeper into the dangerous trap of sin.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, the important lesson that each and every one of us must heed today is to trust in the Lord more and allow Him to guide us in life. If we have erred as king David had done, then we must not be afraid to seek God’s forgiveness and mercy, but with a sincere desire to repent and turn away from our sinfulness, that God will truly forgive us and lead us towards the fullness of His grace and love. And we need to make this conscious decision to commit ourselves to God, at each and every moments of our lives.

May the Lord be our Guide and may He strengthen us all in our resolve to be faithful to Him and to do everything we can to remain true to Him. Let us live our lives from now on with God at the centre of our lives and existence, no longer allowing our many desires and all the temptations present in our lives from confusing us and leading us astray. May God be with us always and strengthen our faith, now and always. Amen.

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