11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
June 13, 2010

This Sunday’s readings have a little something for all of us. Let’s face it! We all have sinned. We still do. And we stand to sin some more. The Lord Himself said it: “The just man sins seven times a day.” But whilst David had a Nathan to convict him, we only have our own consciences to guide us, aided by the objective teachings of the Gospel and the living Church to remind us.

Nathan, according to the Holy Book, succeeded in his reminders. David, convicted by his enlightened conscience, capitulated and confessed: “I have sinned against the Lord.”

This is I guess a good lesson for us to learn – or be reminded of – today. We all have sinned. “All men have fallen short of the glory of God,” as St. Paul puts it in his letter to the Romans. We all have veered off the righteous path. We all have gone astray, like lost sheep, needy of help from a forgiving and loving someone, who has the power to put us right back to the fold.

This, too, is a good reminder for us as we start out anew, as we look forward to something better, given the new set of leaders that have received an unquestionable mandate from the electorate. Now is not the time to discuss how educated or how misguided, or how intelligent and prudent the electorate is … Now is the time to accept one and only one basic and simple fact … We all have sinned. We all have fallen short of the glory of God. And we all deserve the government we get.

If this is the case, then, there is something that the readings can teach us – if only because we need to do a David … We need to do like the psalmist who declared in no uncertain terms, “Forgive the wrong I have done.”

One thing about us as a people, as a sinful people, is to attribute everything to the one who sits on the pinnacle of power. We mistakenly think that he who holds the highest office of the land can solve all our problems, and cure all social evils, which, as the name implies, is something that all of us socially commit. We mistakenly think that the structures of society that are in place, whether right or wrong, dysfunctional or useful and practical, are all due to personal choice, personal decisions, and personal foibles. Thus, we tend to over focus on the supreme leader … on the President, on the residents of Malacanan (or the White House, for that matter), everyone of whom, we all likely hated at some point.

One thing about us sinful people, is that we tend to see evil as the handiwork of the other person, as the fruit of sin of other people, outside our own persons, outside our home boundaries, and definitely outside our areas of responsibility.

But if we are to believe St. Paul, “we all have fallen short of the glory of God.” If so, then corruption, sinfulness, divisiveness, and disunity cannot be the handiwork of only a privileged few who love to address themselves as “honorable.”

David was, for all intents and purposes, and by any standard, an honorable king, a wise king, a courageous king – a true leader in every sense. But he was, like all of us, human. He was weak. He was sinful. And he was, like all of us, initially, in denial. Nathan had to walk him through his crime, with a simple little story, a vignette that exposed and revealed his soft underbelly. It did not take long for him to realize his sin. ‘That man is you!,” declared Nathan.

And David capitulated and confessed!

Initially though, David was incensed by the dastardly, cowardly, but cruel deed of the protagonist of the short story. He was angry. We demanded justice. He wanted to punish the miscreant. “That man is you,” said Nathan.

And David capitulated and confessed!

One thing about people in denial and rejection of who they are, are people who deflect and project to others what they cannot accept in themselves. One who cannot name, one who cannot claim one’s sin is one who cannot tame the very same sin, the very same fault. And one who cannot tame, is one who resorts to blame.

This, the men did, on seeing the sinful woman who lay at the feet of the Lord, and who poured her most treasured possession on his feet, and wiped the same feet with her precious hair.

But the men saw her sin, not her repentance. They saw her fault, not her remorse. They focused on her mistake, not on her resolve.

But we who reject and deny our fault and our contribution to the state of sinfulness, the state of corruption in the world, and the state of dysfunction in society at large, are those who see the “beam in the other person’s eye, yet miss the log in our own.”

In the setting most familiar to me, in the Philippines, we are in the threshold of a new government, with new leaders. Prior to the elections, there was a whole lot of muck raking, and mudslinging. Even before the new set of leaders have taken office, doomsayers and prophets of doom are busy wagging their tongues, projecting all their negativities on those who still need to prove themselves.

Let us start with something new for a change. You and I … The word SIN, after all, has that single most important letter in the middle of it all … and that is “I.” It is you and I who can make it or break it.

A good way to start is what David did. He capitulated and confessed. His conviction led him to profession and resolution ….”Forgive the wrong I have done!”


Angel said…
Definitely true fads,as you would say, CLAIMING GAME, not BLAMING. It should always start on the "I-eye" of each person.We really have to look deeply on what we do, how we live our life, and how we share/help other people and the most important is how we really show our FAITH and LOVE with GOD.

Thanks for everything Fads!