It's kind of a slow news day (or month) when I pull out homilies to blog about. I try to avoid doing it too often, because it's sometimes difficult to get the whole idea across second hand. Often it is a "ya had to be there" kind of thing.
The First Reading on Friday morning was the story of the beginning of King David's downfall. It begins:
At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel... David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
The account continues with David waking up one evening from his nap (Yawn!) and going to stroll on his roof, where he happened to see the lovely Bathsheba - doing what else but bathing? So...he sends his servants to fetch her, and you can imagine what happens from there. But as if that wasn't bad enough, she sends word that she is "with child". David goes into damage control mode here, and brings Bathsheba's husband home, thinking that they might like a little "couple time". But Uriah, being the man he is, does not give in to the temptation. So...David sends him back to the war with a letter to give to the commanding officer to place Uriah on the front line and then to pull back and leave him there so that he will be killed.
The good Father pointed out that David's first bad choice/mistake was remaining at home when the rest of the guys went off to war. David was complacent. Things were going well, and he let his guard down.
How often we do the same...we are complacent, and we make that first little bad choice...to eat xyz food, or to skip xyz part of our daily prayer.... to make some unkind remark about someone...
He pointed out that both sin and virtue work this way. They start with small choices that add up to great things. Just as we can make small bad choices, we can also make small good choices - sacrifices, helping someone, fasting, praying - that God can do great things with.
Look at the choices David made:
- he stayed home, when Kings went on campaign
- he went for an evening stroll on the roof
- he let his eyes wander to things he shouldn't have
- he sent his servants to get the young lady
- he had relations with her
- he tried to cover his tracks by calling her husband home
- he sent him back to the front carrying his own order of execution
Lord, deliver us from growing complacent. Help us to seek you in all the small choices we make in our living and our loving. ~ Amen.