Friday, January 31, 2014

Afternoon meditation: the sin(s) of David

Rembrandt, David and Uriah
Today's first reading is so very, very sad, not to mention so descriptive it could be the basis for a movie.

As a woman, I can't help but think of Bathsheba. All unawares, she was "made an adulteress in the heart" of the king leering at her from his rooftop vantage point. But it was no adultery that ensued; it was plain old rape. "David sent messengers and took her." Then he sent another message and "took" her husband. As in "took him out."

I find myself asking why we refer to this as the "sin" of David, when the working title for that hypothetical movie could be along the lines of  "David and the Seven Capital Sins." They all seem to be there. Even sloth. (What was David doing taking a siesta in Jerusalem when it was the time of year that "kings went on campaign"?) Wrath seems muted, to say the least, but it is just as present, even if in a cold, calculating form. (My theology teacher from long-ago, Father John Hardon, once defined wrath as "the desire to remove obstacles that are not legitimately removable.")

As we'll see tomorrow, stories can confront us with truths we might well prefer to avoid. Today's reading leads me to pray that I will hear the story the Lord is telling me...

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