Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Asking for God's Mercy

In today's responsorial psalm, Ps. 51, we pray for God's mercy, asking God, in His goodness and compassion, to wipe out our offenses. We acknowledge that it is against God whom we sin; that we have done evil in God's sight. We also share with God our realization that God is justified in whatever sentence is put upon us for our sinfulness and insistent turning away from God to our idolatrous ways. Standing before God in our sinfulness, we beg God to create "clean hearts" within us and to renew within us, also, "a steadfast spirit." Cast us "not off from your presence and your Holy Spirit take not from [us]."

To triumph over evil  or any destructive force that might overwhelm us, we are totally dependent upon God. In Numbers 12: 1-13, the first reading of today's liturgy, Aaron and Miriam are confronted by God when they level complaints against Moses. Hearing of Aaron and Miriam's complaints, God summons them, along with Moses, to the meeting tent.  He makes it clear to Moses' sister and brother that Moses "bears [God's] trust: face to face I speak to him; plainly and not in riddles. The presence of the Lord he beholds.  Why, then, did you not fear to speak against my servant Moses?"  

As with Aaron and Miriam,  God knows when we sin against one another and will call us to repentance.  Like Aaron, may we have the humility to say to God, at some point, "Ah, my lord! Please do not charge us with the sin that we have foolishly committed!"

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