First Reading: II Samuel 12:7-10, 13
As king, David inherited Saul’s house and his wives, yet he sought Bathsheba and to gain his end, he sent her husband to his death. This is the sin Nathan exposes in the passage to be read. When David confessed his sin he received absolution from the prophet.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 37: 1-2,5,7, 11
One of the seven great penitential psalms, Number 31 has been ascribed by some to David as a confession of the sin described in the First Reading. This psalm was a great comfort to Augustine ig his last hours. It expresses the mind of one who, convinced of God’s forgiveness, finds great peace.
Second Reading: Galatians 2:16, 19-21
Galatians began to feature in Second Readings two Sundays ago and will continue for another three, So we must see why Paul wrote to the Galatians. To this people of uncertain location somewhere in the interior of Asia Minor, Paul came on his second missionary tour (Acts 16.6). Others came after him, trying to impose on the Galatians a form of Christianity with a heavy overlay of Jewish legalism. This is clear in the reading in which Paul emphasises that by faith alone in Jesus Christ is a person saved and made righteous.
Gospel Luke 7:36-8:3
The passage has been described as an "artistic triumph" and along with others shows Luke’s great understanding of women, recognised feature of his Gospel. People were horrified to learn Jesus could accept the homage and the gift of a woman with a bad name. She must have heard Jesus preach and in some way beyond our knowing found forgiveness. If read carefully, the passage becomes a cycle of love which begins with the Lord’s love for the sinner and ends with the penitent’s love for the Lord.