Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Sunday Word

There' still time to study the Scriptures for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. It is in this preparation that we will be better prepared to hear, understand, receive, and be nourished by the Lord's Word on Sunday.

The first reading text from 2 Samuel continues to relate stories of David and his unique brand of kingship over Israel. This week for the second time the prophet Nathan appears on the scene. There is some suggestion that Nathan's sudden appearance should be seen as a later insertion into the continuing story of David's scandalous behavior with Bathsheba and its consequences. Nathan's presence serves to reveal the shameful nature of David's sin and explains the punishments that follow.

Then the apostle Paul weighs in. He seems to lend some weight to the antinomian argument: "No one will be justified by the works of the law." If following the rules of the road will not get us to our destination, then why bother at all? Paul, of course, is writing to Gentiles who were - from a Jewish standpoint - natural-born sinners, and to Jews who prided themselves on their connections: The rules of the road would save them. Or so they thought.

Jesus does not mince words in today's Gospel reading when he says, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Forgiveness found through faith sets us free.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, one might ask Jesus, “What does my faith save me from?” Or you might ask me, “What does forgiveness free us from?”