12th June 2016
Eleventh Sunday of the Year
There is something truly scandalous about David’s sin in the first reading. He has seduced a
married woman and then arranged it that her husband is killed so that he can have
his sin hidden.
This outrageous also because David is the anointed of the Lord, he has great responsibility and yet abuses his power. God of course is not fooled and David is confronted by the prophet Nathan with his sin. David repents and is forgiven.
One could feel that David should be severely punished for his deeds and yet that
does not happen.
The Law does not hold in the face of repentance and mercy, and that is important. This is what is behind Paul’s argument in the reading to the Galatians. David is certainly not justified by keeping the Law – he has gravely broken it – and yet he is forgiven by God, because he repented and knew God to be greater than the reality of his grave sin.
There is a similar situation in the gospel. The woman – who has a bad name in the town – carried out an act of great humility and reverence in washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair and anointing them with perfume.
Her actions reveal her present state, which is not that of a woman of ill repute but of a woman reconciled into love by faith. It is through faith that she is saved and her sins have been forgiven.