Week 3: Saturday

“The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: “Tell me how you judge this case: In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor.” (2 Samuel 12:1.)

Saint Gregory the Great comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“But at times, in taking to task the powerful of this world, they are first to be dealt with by drawing diverse comparisons in a case ostensibly concerning someone else. Then, when they give a right judgment on what apparently is another’s case, they are to be taken to task regarding their own guilt by a suitable procedure. Thus a mind puffed up with temporal power cannot possibly lift itself up against the reprover, for by its own judgment it has trodden on the neck of pride; and it cannot argue to defend itself, as it stands convicted by the sentence out of its own mouth.

Thus it was that Nathan the prophet, coming to chide the king, to all appearance asked his judgment in the case of a poor man against a rich man. The king first was to deliver judgment and then to hear that he was the culprit. Thus he was completely unable to deny the just sentence which he had personally delivered against himself. Therefore, the holy man, considering both the sinner and the king, aimed in that wonderful manner at convicting a bold culprit first by his own admission and then cut him by his rebuke. For a short while he concealed the person whom he was aiming at and then at once struck him when he had convicted him. His stroke would, perhaps, have had less force if he had chosen to castigate the sin directly the moment he began to speak. But by beginning with a similitude, he sharpened the rebuke which he was concealing. He came like a physician to a sick man, saw that his wound had to be incised, but was in doubt about the endurance of the patient. He, therefore, concealed the surgeon’s knife under his coat, but drawing it out suddenly, pierced the wound, that the sick man might feel the knife before he saw it, for if he had first seen it, he might have refused to feel it.” (Pastoral Care, 3.)

Almighty ever-living God,
direct our actions according to your good pleasure,
that in the name of your beloved Son
we may abound in good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen