Week 3: Friday

“David sent people to inquire about the woman and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of Uriah the Hittite, Joab’s armor-bearer.” (2 Samuel 11:3.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“It would be better for the sun to be extinguished than for David’s words to be forgotten and not transmitted to others. He fell into adultery and envy. For he saw, he says, a beautiful woman bathing and became enamored of her; and later he succeeded in doing all that he fancied.

And the prophet was found in adultery, the pearl in mud. However, he did not yet understand that he had sinned, the passion ravaged him to such a great extent. Because, when the charioteer gets drunk, the chariot moves in an irregular, disorderly manner. What the charioteer is to the chariot, the soul is to the body. If the soul becomes darkened, the body rolls in mud. As long as the charioteer stands firm, the chariot drives smoothly. However, when he becomes exhausted and is unable to hold the reins firmly, you see this very chariot in terrible danger. This exact same thing happens to human beings. As long as the soul is sober and vigilant, this very body remains in purity. However, when the soul is darkened, this very body rolls in mud and in lusts.

Therefore, what did David do? He committed adultery; yet neither was he aware nor was he censured by anyone. This occurred in his most venerable years, so you may learn that, if you are indolent, not even old age benefits you, nor, if you are earnest, can youthful years seriously harm you. Behavior does not depend on age but on the direction of the will.

So you may learn that the affairs of prudence rely upon the will and do not depend on age, just remember that David was found in his venerable years falling into adultery and committing murder; and he reached such a pathetic state that he was unaware that he had sinned, because his mind, which was the charioteer, was drunk from debauchery.” (Homilies on Repentance and Almsgiving, 2.)

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