Day 134: Devastating Effects of Sin

1 Chronicles 21:1-30 It is not entirely clear why David’s decision to take the census was considered a sin, but the problem may be in its intent (cf. 2 Sam 24:1-25). Whatever the reason, this passage differs from the account in 2 Samuel mainly in its emphasis on the depth and gravity of David’s repentance. Like most of the stories of the Books of Chronicles, this serves as a hagiography (biography that idealizes its subject) of David, whose virtues are stressed and whose failings are downplayed and even omitted entirely. 

Ch 21:1 Satan: The Hebrew satan means “adversary” and had already been used in a generic context in 1 Kings. Here, however, it is presented as a proper name akin to “the Devil” or “the tempter.” This marks the only case of the use of “Satan” as a proper name not preceded by the article “the.” In the Book of Job, it appears as a particular being; and, although it has the article (“the adversary”), it is usually translated in English as Satan (see Job 1:6-9, 12; 2:1-4, 6-7). In Christian theology, Satan refers to the fallen angel through whom sin and death entered the world; he seeks to oppose Christ and all that is good by leading people into sin through his deception and lies. (CCC 2852)

Ch 21:12 The angel: Angels are spirits created by God prior to the creation of the first man and woman. Endowed with INTELLECT and FREE WILL, many angels freely chose to serve God. Satan, however, chose to reject God and become his adversary (cf 21:1). In Scripture, angels act on behalf of God as his messengers. They have been present throughout history and have intervened at special episodes throughout salvation history. (CCC 333-334)

Psalm 15 The psalmist lists eleven criteria by which a person is allowed to participate in the liturgy, each of which points to the Commandments in either a general or specific way. This psalm in a Christian context is essentially a call to examine our consciences before receiving the Eucharist, and, if we are guilty of serious or mortal sin, we must receive the Sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion. It is also best to seek forgiveness of lesser or venial sins-although they do not bar us from the Eucharistic table-as a way of overcoming anger, pride, and resentment that create small barriers to receiving the fullness of grace offered in the Holy Eucharist. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, February 4, 2004) 

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you. We honor you and give you glory, the glory you deserve. We give you the praise and honor and worship and thanksgiving of this day. Gosh, Lord, as we follow the story of David we ask that you please help us to discern in our own hearts where we need to be convicted of sin. Help us to see in our own hearts where we are called to be innocent, where we are called to be humbled, where we are called to be lifted up, where we are called to be strengthened, where we are called to receive encouragement, and where we are called to be open to criticism. Lord God, help us to be wise in the voices that we listen to and the voices that we pay attention to. And of all the voices that we hear in the course of the day, let yours be the one that is the loudest, that is the clearest, and is the one that goes directly to our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”