Wednesday, 5th February – Wednesday of week 4 of the year
Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Matyr
Reflection: 2 Samuel 24: 2, 9-17
A CONTRITE HEART
Undoubtedly, King David stands out as the most divinely favoured of all the kings that reigned over Israel. Scripture describes him as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). To have enjoyed such intimacy and blessings from God, could it mean he was faultless in all his affairs? Certainly not! The taking of Israel’s census (today’s first reading), the account of his adultery with Bath-sheba and murder of Uriah her husband are major flaws in his kingship. However, his contrition stands him our when compared to a good number of us Christians of today. He never rationalized, excused or downplayed his sins. He was a man of contrite heart.
What is contrition? It is a sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again (CCC 1451). Contrition is a product of the activity of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Dear friends, how contrite are you for your sins? Do you rather excuse or downplay them? All unrighteousness is sin and injures the love of God. We cannot tap into the immense forgiving mercy of our Heavenly Father when we obstinately persist in our sins, neither can we receive His justification when we excuse or downplay them (Proverbs 28:13; 1John 1:9). We are not only to own up and confess our sins, we must forsake our sinful ways, avoid occasions of sin (2 Timothy 2:22) to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4; Galatians 2:20).
A contrite heart is better positioned for God’s blessing (Psalm 34: 18; Isaiah 66:2). As we grow in contrition, we must nevertheless guard against the negative extreme – Despondency. This is a hopeless sorrow for sin without recourse to God’s infinite mercy. It is the devil’s antic to keep us from obtaining the saving grace of God (Romans 5: 20).
PRAYER: Oh Lord! Help me grow in contrition. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 229 – What prepares a person for repentance?
The insight into one’s personal guilt produces a longing to better oneself; this is called contrition. We arrive at contrition when we see the contradiction between God’s love and our sin. Then we are full of sorrow for our sins; we resolve to change our life and place all our hope in God’s help.
HIDE A TREASURE: “So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart” 2 Timothy 2:22 RSV-CE
Readings for today: 2 Samuel 24: 2, 9 -17; Psalm 32: 1-2, 5-7; Mark 6: 1-6