First Reading for the Saturday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2

2 Samuel 12:1-7a, 10-17

Summary: Nathan confronts David with a parable, revealing his sin with Bathsheba and against Uriah. Despite God's forgiveness for David, the child born of this union becomes gravely ill as a consequence.

David's Sin and Consequences

The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, Nathan said: “Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him. Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Instead he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor.”

David grew very angry with that man and said to him: “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death! He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’”

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.” Then Nathan returned to his house.

The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David, and it became desperately ill. David besought God for the child. He kept a fast, retiring for the night to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth. The elders of his house stood beside him urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor would he take food with them.

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