Homily – March 18, 2018

I want to say a few words about today’s responsorial psalm, Ps 51. It is one of the penitential psalms. King David is admitting to God his great sins of adultery and murder. As a successful and power king David imagined everything was his. He had the power of life and death over his subjects. In the second book of Samuel we’re told of how King David lusted and slept with a woman named Bathsheba the wife of Uriah, one of King David’s trusted generals. Uriah was at the front fighting David’s battle with the Ammonites. When David found out Bathsheba was pregnant he arranged to have Uriah placed in a hopeless situation on the battled field where he would be killed and David’s sins would be covered up.

God’s Prophet at that time was a man named Nathan. God sent Nathan to David to confront him with his sins and crimes. This 51st psalm is the record of Davis’s act of contrition.in which he prays; “Have mercy on me O God according to your steadfast love.. cleanse me from my sins.. against you alone have I sinned, what is evil in your sight I have done.. restore to me the joy of your salvation …create in me a clean heart, with a steadfast spirit sustain me.”

Of course God forgives the penitent David of his great sins of adultery and murder.

This time of Lent has always been a time when we are encouraged to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation, the sacrament of pardon and peace. On Wednesday of this past week from 3 o’clock until 6 o’clock Frs. Brando and John were available to all who wanted to celebrate Reconciliation. This coming Wednesday we will have a service of reconciliation –it will be a time of quiet reflection and an examination of our consciousness of the sins we know, the sins we do not know and the sins that do not bother us.

We are good people but we all have our faults and failings. As I’ve said before, we are mistake making beings. Like St. Paul we all struggle the good that I would that I do not and the evil that I would not do, that I do.

What was the first thing we acknowledged when we began this Mass? We were mindful of the times in our lives that we failed to respond to the goodness and graciousness of God. We come as flawed men and women. This acknowledging of our faults and failings is the conditions for our participating fully in the Eucharist we will celebrate when we are told, ‘ this is my body which will be given up for you… this is my blood which will be poured out for you – take and eat – take and drink. We open our lives to the love and the mercy of God as we celebrate Christ’s great act of love for each of us, a love that brought him to his cross. It is as important to remember why died for us as it is to remember that he died for us. Christ died to make us one with God. Christ died to take away the sins of the world. I recently read this question. ‘If our experience of the Mass is bland or boring, if the Mass seems lifeless and contrived could it be that we do not take seriously either our sinfulness or God’s forgiveness?

As a parish family you are invited to this penitential service of Wed. evening at 7:30 at which, as a parish family we will admit our sinfulness and celebrate the mercy of God for each of us.