This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and every living creature with you: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. As the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and recall the everlasting covenant that I have established between God and all living beings…
(Genesis 9: 12-16)
For the second Sunday in a row, I’ve witnessed a rainbow in the late evening. This one appeared right outside my front porch! Rainbows are a reminder of God’s fidelity. No matter how bad we feel, no matter how serious the sins we commit, God always stands ready to “wash away our sins” in the blood of His Son, through the sacrament of reconciliation. How often do we feel unworthy of God’s love? How often does our troubled conscience make us wonder if God still loves us? if God can ever forgive us?
I am mindful of one of the greatest Kings of Israel; King David. God loved David deeply. David loved God and served God well…yet he, too, sinned greatly on occasion against God and God’s commandments. (see First Book of Samuel 12 where David sins with Bathsheba, or Second Book of Samuel 24, where David numbers the people of Israel.) Like David, all we need do is turn contritely to the LORD and beg His forgiveness.
Here are a couple of great Psalms to remember when seeking God’s compassionate, merciful forgiveness:
Psalm 38: O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage. Your arrows have sunk deep in me; Your hand has come down upon me. Through your anger all my body is sick: Through my sin, there is no health in my limbs. My guilt towers higher than my head; It is a weight too heavy to bear. My wounds are foul and festering, The result of my own folly. I am bowed and brought to my knees. I go mourning all the day long All my frame burns with fever, All my body is sick. Spent and utterly crushed, I cry aloud in anguish of heart. I count on you, O Lord: It is you, Lord God, who will answer. I confess that I am guilty And my sin fills me with dismay. O Lord, do not forsake me! My God, do not stay afar off! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my God, my savior!
Psalm 51: A humbled contrite heart you will not spurn.