Many of us are like Solomon. He believed in the One God and yet he allowed himself and his faith to be adulterated and to be mixed up with the superstitions and the religious customs of his concubines. His kingdom did not last long because he allowed his faith to be mixed-up with superstitious practices.
Many of us are like Solomon. We worship in church, we believe in the Blessed Sacrament, we believe that the Church is our Mother and yet at the point of crises, we believe in superstitious beliefs, we consult our horoscopes and we consult the stars for signs. We refer to Chinese numerology to put order and harmony. But, as we see, Solomon failed.
On the other hand, if not all of us are superstitious, have we not allowed our religion to be mixed-up with unreligious practices? You could come across Christians who would think that religion must remain pure and that words like sex, economics and politics should not be mentioned inside the church. Politics is dirty, sex is dirty, economics is dirty and so these type of Christians could not tolerate priests and churchmen talking about such matters. They are dirty.
We should not allow religion to be mixed up with sex, politics and economics. As it is wrong to mix up superstition and religion, it is also wrong to think that religion should not enter into economics, sex and politics. We should strike a balance. We should not allow superstition to enter into our religion but we must keep in mind that our mission is to Christianize sex, to Christianize politics, to Christianize economics. Christ was not afraid to touch a dirty woman, a dog, a leper. Christ did not hesitate to dine with sinners. It was unthinkable during those days for a messiah, for a teacher to do that.
Let us keep our faith as pure as possible; but let us not allow our faith to be so exclusive that we think some things are too dirty for us. We must put Christ everywhere and we must see the beauty of everything, for the Church.
We beg the Lord for the gift of discernment, to be able to distinguish what is dirty and what is clean; to be able to assimilate the beauty of human cultures, and yet at the same time, to reject what is wrong in them.
Our two readings for today speak of division. In the first reading, we hear of the Kingdom of Solomon being divided into two, the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. Ten tribes joined Israel, two tribes joined Judah. And the last sentence of the first reading says: Up to this day there is rebellion in the kingdom. Up to this day disunity continues in the kingdom. Up to this day there is dissension prevailing in the family of Solomon. In spite of the division of the kingdom of Solomon, we know that the plan of God to send the Messiah was not aborted. God did not revoke his plan even if there was disunity among the people. That is the good news: in spite of human failings, in spite of human sinfulness, the plan of God carries on.
The gospel also speaks about disunity. It also speaks about division. This time the division is within the body. There is disunity between the mouth and the ear. That is why the man in the gospel was not able to hear, was not able to talk. There was disunity in the body, and that disunity between the mouth and the ear was healed only by the power of Jesus Christ. That is the second lesson about disunity, that all disunity can only become cured by the power of God.
Our divisions at home, our divisions in our nation, our divisions in our families and at the places where we work can only be healed by the power of the one God. There is disunity all over us. In spite of the disunity seen by our human eyes, let us learn from the readings of today. The first is: God’s plan will carry on in spite of the disunity. The second is: Only God can make us one.
Sometimes we can get so disillusioned with the pettiness and the bickering that we see around us. Let us keep our hope and our faith strong, trusting that in spite of human weakness, the plan of God will carry through. We also thank the Lord for the gift of healing. Not only for our divided hearts and our divided minds, but also for the gift of total healing for our community, for our nation, for our own families.
1 Kings 11:1-40 / Mk 7:32
Jesus In My Heart