In the first reading the Prophet Nathan was heartbroken by the behavior of David his king, While God had permitted David to have more than one beautiful wife, that wasn’t enough for him. He had to take Bathsheba, the joy of his brave warrior Uriah.
Rather than accuse the mighty king face to face, Nathan proposed a case to him for judgment. He asked him what should be done about a rich man who had flocks without number who took the lone sheep that was the only possession of a poor soldier.
David was shocked at the behavior of that rich man, and he declared that he should be put to death. Nathan had used his story to make David wake up to the fact that he had committed the same kind of crime. That made it possible for him to tell David, “You are the man!”
The story is in the Bible on the chance that it could wake us up to a part we might have had in making life miserable for God’s poor. And, maybe we too should do something to set things right.
Fifty years ago Gustavo Gutierrez, a priest from Peru, wrote an account of how the bishops in South America shared in the guilt of their rich who ignored the poor. He pointed out that the bishops were dining with that wealthy class whose greed made life miserable for the poor.
Father Gutierrez’ account touched the hearts of the bishops, and they came together, laying out their plans for showing preference for the poor in all their dealings.