Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Psalm for Sunday, September 15, 2013
Psalm 51: 3-4, 12-13, 17, 19 (Read)
“A clean heart create for me, O God.”
We are shown in the Psalm that although David
was chosen by God to be king, even David sins gravely.
David is sincerely sorry for having committed adultery
and murder, two grievous sinful acts which separated
him from our loving Father. He pleads with the Lord,
"Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your
abundant compassion blot out my offense." We are
reminded here that no sin is too big for God to forgive.
Just as Moses trusted God to relent in His wrath against
the Israelites (Exodus 32:11), we too trust in the Lord to be
far more forgiving than we ourselves are capable of.
And when we do fall into deep patterns of sin, we must
realize that our wrongdoing ultimately, is a rebellion
against the Lord himself. David’s sins, like our own,
are offensive to God first and foremost –
we are all born of a sinful nature.
David prays words of repentance that recall for us the
power of the Sacrament of Confession. “A clean heart
create for me, O God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.”
The Lord is the source of cleanliness and purity of heart.
God wants to have a close relationship with us, but
unconfessed sin will always get in the way. We must
confess our sins openly and sincerely. Where else
can we turn when we are separated from God? Who else
has the healing power to cleanse us? David reminds us
that without the Holy Spirit we are ruled by the desires of
this world. “Do not drive me from your presence, nor take
from me your Holy Spirit.”
We can almost hear David’s loud cries and see his tears,
as he offers this prayerful psalm and seeks his own
inner renewal. And just as David is profoundly grateful
for God's compassion,so too St. Paul acknowledges
God's mercy in this Sunday's 2nd reading (1 Timothy 1:13).
When we receive the Sacrament of Confession, we also
are given an opportunity to be restored in the joy of His
Salvation, to offer up what is dead within us, so that like
the prodigal son in the Gospel we can return to the Father
and again be good witnesses for the Lord. “I will rise and
go to my father.”(Luke 15:18)
Once we have regained a solid foundation with God the Father,
no strong assault from satan will overcome us. We can have that
very same "steadfastness of spirit" that David asks for and
receives from the Lord.
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. Our Psalm is King David's mea culpa,his personal
confession to God. Speak of how the verses of the Psalm
inspire you to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
2. Our psalmist pleas with the Lord not to take from him God's
Holy Spirit. Tell of how you also rely on the Spirit in your daily life.