From today's first reading (Ecclesiasticus 47:2-13):
'The Lord took away his sins,
and exalted his horn for ever;
he gave him a royal covenant,
and a glorious throne in Israel.'
This reading is about the forgiveness bestowed by God on His servant King David. Yet looking at this reading you would think there wasn't really much to forgive. David, it seemed, could do no wrong!
Yet over the last few days the readings have shown us occasions where David has sinned against God, such as when he demanded a census of the people.
David is a real lesson to us. He, like all of us, made mistakes. He made mistakes that caused him to sin against God. And God, like a typical Father, sometimes punished him. He would punish out of love to ensure the child never sinned again. But He would always forgive.
Each time we seek God's forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation He takes away our sins, just as He did with King David. He washes us clean and gives us a fresh start. Yet He is keen to remind us that we must endeavour not to make the same mistakes again.