29 January 2010. Friday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time
2 Sam 11, 1-17; Psalm 51; Mark 4, 26-34
Like the sower in the Gospel who ‘does not know’ how the seeds he planted sprout and grow, or how the land yields fruit, there are many things that make us wonder. The same thing is experienced when we are given another chance. We often hear the tenet that we shouldn’t put a period where God puts only a comma.
There is a tendency to put a period in our lives when bad things happen to us. We end our life story when our heart breaks, when we fail, when we are betrayed, or when we’ve done something really, really bad. We are usually led to think that when we lose something or someone, we lose everything.
Put yourself in the shoes of King David. The God-fearing man becomes a murderer. I will leave the details to your imagination, but I want you to imagine to put the missing pieces in the narrative of the first reading. From the roof of the palace, he sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing; inquires about her and learns that she’s married to Uriah the armor bearer. Nevertheless, he calls her to court and had sexual relations with her. Upon learning that he impregnated her, David devises plans to cover his sin by inviting Uriah to court parties, gets him drunk, and sends him home to have sex with his wife, so that Uriah will not wonder once the pregnancy shows. But Uriah does not sleep in his house. As the last resort, David has Uriah put into the fiercest part of the battle where he can be surely killed. And Uriah indeed dies. If this happens to us, this can be the end of our life. I will not find it difficult to imagine David also thinking in the same wavelength.
Bad things happen to all of us. Or, we make bad things happen to us. Whether we are good or bad, at one time or another we will break up, break down, go broke, lose a lot. This I am certain and sure. We find ourselves in a relationship where we think we are giving more than what we are receiving. We experience the death of a loved one and we think we ourselves died. Someone dear leaves us, and we think, everyone else left us. We discover scandals in the church, and we think it’s everything about it, and we abandon it. We get hurt, get sick, get lost. It happens. In other words, we put a period, where a comma should be in its place.
The comma helps us set the pace of the text in a sentence. But there are rules in using the comma: just don’t go reckless. Meaning, the sentence is not yet finished. You don’t stop, but you pause; not too much or too long.
So when bad things happen to us, we are asked to pause, to reflect, to look back, to evaluate. But not too long. And hopefully, not recklessly too many. Or else, we lose our time stuck in the past. And if we discover that the amount of our faith in God is too little to overcome our temptations, we give God the benefit of a little trust in what Jesus said that faith can begin like a small mustard seed. That just as the sower wonders how things around him grows, we can also wonder what God can do with our little faith, and our constant falls.
We have to train ourselves to believe that every ending is but a little pause in our lives. Our story is constantly being written by a very creative God. Case in point: David and Bathsheba’s son, Solomon, will build the Temple of Jerusalem. Moreover, God does not withdraw from David His promise of a royal lineage from whom the Messiah will come.
So delete the period. Put a comma. And continue your story.