2 Samuel 11 and 12: Conversion – Part I
We visit this story about once a year as we journey together at Noontime, and here it is again. We have reflected on the narrative and how Psalm 51 – the beautiful song of contrition and yearning – rises from this account of lust, adultery and murder. We have also spent time thinking about how David succumbs to very human emotions only to later rise to his divine best self by finally facing the truth about his own actions. We have spent a bit of time with Bathsheba, wondering what more we might learn from her if only we had more details of her life. Today we meditate a bit on the role that Nathan plays in this drama: the truth-revealer who is wise with words and strong with God, the prophet who becomes the instrument of David’s conversion.
This is a fitting path to continue as today we celebrate the conversion of St. Paul, the devout Pharisee who was known for his persecution of the followers of The Way . . . who becomes one of the most fearless defenders of the Christ story. A wonderful book to read about Paul’s conversion, particularly as it parallels the life of Christ, is Jesus and Paul: Parallel Lives by Jerome Murphy-O’Conner. The writer delineates for us the thesis that both Paul and Christ experience not one but two major conversions: a conversion of heart and a conversion of vocation. Using scripture and other ancient texts, Murphy-O’Conner supports this idea to lead us through his thinking that understanding our conversion is one thing . . . acting on it is another.
For a reflection on Paul’s conversion with an audio link, visit: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/conversion-of-saint-paul/
Tomorrow, from Saul to Paul.
Adapted from a January 25, 2009 Favorite.