Saint John Bosco, Priest (Memorial)


He ate and drank with David, who made him drunk. 

King David was caught.   He had had an affair with the wife of one of his soldiers, and she was now pregnant.   After a couple of botched attempts to cover up his sin, he conspired to have the soldier be conveniently killed in battle.

David probably knew he was doing wrong when he hatched this plot, but he couldn’t see any other way out.   So to his sin of adultery, he added the sins of murder and deception.   The transgressions kept piling up, and as we’ll see in future readings, the result was a string of tragedies for David and his family.

This story is probably one of the earliest examples of the age-old saying “The cover-up is worse than the crime.”   From political scandals to family squabbles, we see this truth play out over and over again—and we see more and more people who end up feeling hurt and betrayed.

The answer sounds simple, doesn’t it?   Just come clean.   Admit the wrong you did, and try to make amends.   But we know how hard this can be.   We worry about how people will react.   Will we lose our friends?   Will the offended party find a way to forgive us?   Or maybe we just want to avoid facing up to the real hurt we have caused people.

You may be afraid of people’s reactions, but you never have to fear how God will react.   For one thing, he already knows what you have done!   But beyond that, he has promised to forgive your every sin, to heal your wounded conscience, and to keep you in the palm of his hand.

That’s why the Sacrament of Reconciliation is so valuable.   Through the priest, God will treat you with deep compassion and understanding as you pour out your sins, and he will forgive you.   Then, freed from guilt and restored to God’s love, you will find the courage to go back and make things right.   You will find the grace to do what even King David couldn’t bring himself to do—try to make things right again.   And you will be doing it with Jesus by your side.

“Holy Spirit, give me a repentant heart.   Help me to confess my sin and seek reconciliation and healing.”

Psalm 51:3-7, 10-11
Mark 4:26-34