- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

January 29, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

3rd Friday of Ordinary Time
2 Samuel 1: 1-4a, 5-10, 13-17;
Mark 4: 26-34

Everyone knows the story of David and Bathsheba. In a society that is inundated with sex, we tend to overlook the horror of this epic story. When David was consumed with lust, Bathsheba ceased to be a woman, the handiwork of God and became an object to be possessed and used. Unlike David, we do not have to climb to the roof of our palaces, we only have to turn on our computers. Lust, fed by pornography, hardens the heart and entices us to live out our fantasies, wherein people become things to be used, abused and disposed of. Society’s focus on pleasure and instant gratification has done horrible things to women.

The Holy Spirit moved the pen of the Sacred Author to record this event in David’s life. We must trust in the Sprit to speak to our hearts and enable us to value the beauty of the human person. By God’s merciful grace, we will receive the helps we need to overcome self-indulgence and pour ourselves out in service to others. By the guidance of the Spirit, we will learn to treat other with dignity and respect. By the outpouring of grace, we will rediscover what it means to say that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Once again, we will come to know the bliss that comes from walking with God in the Garden of His delight.

Lust not only caused David to treat Bathsheba as an object, it also caused him to think that Uriah was expendable – disposable. Once we desecrate the temple of our body, nothing is sacred, nothing has value. When David fell prey to his lust, he did not see the image and likeness of God in either Bathsheba or Uriah. Sin hardened his heart and caused him to degrade the woman and to destroy her husband. His stone cold heart had to be made flesh again.

God so loved the world that He set in motion a process whereby the children of Adam and Eve might become human again. God became flesh so that sinful human beings might once again be made in the image and likeness of God. The Beloved Son, Who reflects the glory of the Godhead, was degraded and ridiculed so as to restore dignity to a fallen race. The immortal God died on the cross to bring mortal men to the fullness of life. I pray that each of us would experience God’s mercy and forgiveness so that we would stop hurting ourselves and others.