February 8, 2018

Feb. 8

February 8, 2018:  Thursday, 5th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Mountains' pin:  Solomon built a high place to idols on the hill opposite Jerusalem (1st reading)
  • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  Solomon adored idols (1st reading); "they served their idols" (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Solomon's heart was turned away from the Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Feet' pin:  The woman fell at Jesus' feet (gospel)
  • 'Car' tie bar:  She begged him to 'drive' the demon out (gospel)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  “It's not right to throw children's food to the dogs” / “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For Psalm 106
Homily:  David is a saint, even if he was a sinner, but the Lord rejected Solomon because he was corrupt.  Today's 1st reading speaks about Solomon and his disobedience.  Solomon's heart wasn't entirely with the Lord, as David's was.  It's strange because we don't know that Solomon committed great sins and he was balanced; while we know David had a difficult life and was a sinner.  But David is a saint, while Solomon, whom the Lord praised for seeking wisdom rather than riches, turned his heart away from the Lord.  David, knowing his sin, always asked for forgiveness, but Solomon, praised worldwide, distanced himself from the Lord to follow other gods, but didn't recognize his fault.  When the heart begins to weaken, you don't recognize it right away, like you do when you sin; weakness of the heart slides along step by step, and Solomon took that road.  The clarity of a sin is better than weakness of the heart.  Solomon wound up corrupted:  tranquilly corrupt, because his heart was weakened.
Someone with a weak heart is defeated.  Is your heart strong?  Does it stay faithful, or slowly slide away?  Anyone's heart can weaken.  Be watchful.  Guard your heart.  Be careful about what's happening in your heart.  David, a sinner, became a saint, but Solomon, corrupt, was rejected.  Someone corrupt can't become a saint. You become corrupt by following the path of weakness of heart.  How is my relationship with the Lord?  Enjoy the beauty and joy of fidelity.
On human trafficking:  I invite everyone to join forces to prevent the slave trade and protect and assist human trafficking victims.  The feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a childhood victim of human trafficking, is an occasion to pray and act against the trade of human beings.  The theme of this year's Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking is “Migration without trafficking.  Say yes to Freedom and No to slavery.”  Many migrants are forced to choose illegal means and are submitted to  abuse, exploitation, and slavery.  Criminal organizations that engage in the trafficking of persons use migratory routes to hide their victims among migrants and refugees.  Pray that the Lord convert the hearts of traffickers and give hope to those who suffer from this shameful scourge so they may regain their freedom.
    Wordle: Readings 2-13-14
  • 1 Kgs 11:4-13  Solomon began to adore and build high places for strange gods, doing evil in God's sight.  The Lord became angry with him and told him: “Since you haven't kept my covenant, I'll deprive you of the kingdom, but for David's sake not in your lifetime and not the whole kingdom.”
  • Ps 106:3-4, 35-37, 40  "Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people."  Blessed are they who do what is just.  They served idols, and God grew angry with them.
  • Mk 7:24-30  A woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit fell at Jesus' feet and begged for her daughter's deliverance.  Jesus / mother:  “It's wrong to throw children's food to dogs.” / “Even dogs eat the table scraps.” / “Go; the demon has gone out of her.”  She found the child in bed and the demon gone.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "When unity is idolatry":  The Jews were to have nothing to do with Gentiles so that they wouldn't be seduced into worshipping Gentiles' idols, but Solomon disregarded the prohibition, even marrying Gentiles.  But Jesus called Jewish Christians to become one with Gentiles; his healing and deliverance of the Greek woman's daughter prefigured that Jews' and Gentiles' unity in Christ. Since such mixing had failed for centuries, Jesus had to be greater than Solomon for his plan of unity to work.  Jesus, our Peace, made us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility that kept us apart.  "There does not exist among you Jew or Greek; all are one in Christ."
    St. Josephine Bakhita
  • Passionist:  Jesus lived a public life and knew he needed time to rest, but in today's gospel his plan was interrupted when the Greek woman appeals to him for her daughter, even rebutting his first responses. He brings about recovery and new life for her daughter.  Note the contrast with the first reading, where Solomon's heart is turned away from the Lord despite his wisdom.  May we like the woman present ourselves humbly and courageously to the Lord and put our trust in his love and desire to reach out.
    Jesus and the woman of Canaan
  • DailyScripture.net:  "The demon has left your daughter":  Jews often spoke of Gentiles as "unclean dogs" since they were excluded from God's covenant and favor.  The dog was a symbol of dishonor to Greeks used to describe a shameless woman.  Jesus likely spoke with a smile since the woman immediately responds with wit and faith.  Jesus praised the Gentile woman for her faith and love.  She made her child's misery her own and was willing to be rebuffed obtain his healing.  Her faith grew when she encountered Jesus:  she began with a request and she ended in prayer.  No one who sought Jesus with faith was refused help.

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