Friday, January 20, 2012
Sin in Perspective
Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea! David's question to Saul really puts sin in perspective. Remember that Saul is filled with anger, resentment and jealousy because the people, especially the woman, are acclaiming David as a hero. In the first reading today, Saul's sinful thoughts and feelings have fermented in the misery of his self-centeredness long enough that he is now actively pursuing David seeking to kill him. David's question to Saul puts Saul's motives into perspective. What is the point Saul? A dead dog is worthless as is a single flea. This question brings clarity. It demonstrates the futility of Saul's blood lust. The ridiculousness of Saul's anger, jealousy, and resentment. The source of this vicious quest, is laid bear as Saul is presented with the absurdity of David's question. The sinful motives are absurd as is the sin of Saul. We are no different. Saul has felt and thought he was justified in his anger, jealousy, and resentment. Thus he cultivated them and harbored them and nurtured them and finally has acted upon them for a sustained amount of time, the length of a military campaign. All this time and energy wasted. For What? A dead dog or a single flea! The futility and absurdity of Saul's sinful passion is certainly evident to us as we listen to the first reading. What about our own? How much time do we waste cultivating, harboring, and nurturing our own sinful thoughts and desires? What tortured reasoning goes into the justification of such feelings and thoughts, as well as desires?How committed are we to acting upon that which we have falsely justified? Often our whole life revolves around a few well cultivated sins. How long have we sustained our commitment to a particular sin whether it be in Thought, Word, or Deed? All this time and energy wasted. For What? A dead dog or a single flea! Yet we follow Saul. We follow his lead. Sin gains us nothing. It is a waste and it wastes us. If we can admit the absurdity of our reasoning then perhaps we can begin to turn from the vicious cycle of sin. If we can admit the futility of our quest for satisfaction in a sinful thought, word or action perhaps then we can begin to cooperate with the sanctifying grace offered to us in the Sacramental Life. If we can humbly admit we are not justified in these sinful attitudes and pursuits then perhaps we can begin to heal. The choice is ours to make this day, Virtue, Grace, and Healing on the one hand opening us up to Everlasting Life, or a flea and a dead dog on the other. These are symbols of misery, futility, slavery and death. David poses the question to Saul, but each of us better answer.