February 12, 2014
Wednesday 5th Week in Ordinary Time
1 Kgs 10:1-10 / Ps 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40 / Mk 7:14-23
Reading: 1 Kgs 10:1-10
The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's fame, and came to test him with difficult questions. She arrived in Jerusalem with a vast retinue and with camels loaded with spices, an abundance of gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she told him all that she had on her mind and Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing that the king could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the palace he had built, the food on his table, the residence of his officials, the attendance of his servants and their clothing, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings which he offered at Yahweh's House, it left her breathless. Then she said to the king, "All that I heard in my own land concerning you and your wisdom was true. But I did not believe the reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. And what did I see! I was told only half the story; for your wisdom and wealth surpass the report I heard. Fortunate are your wives! Fortunate are your servants who are ever in your presence and hear your wisdom! Blessed be Yahweh your God, who has looked kindly on you and has put you on the throne of Israel! Because of Yahweh's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so that you may dispense justice and righteousness." Then she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, spices in abundance, and precious stones. Such an abundance of spices as those which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon was never again seen.
Gospel: Mk 7: 14-23
Jesus then called the people to him again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes out from within that makes unclean. Let everyone who has ears listen." When Jesus got home and was away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about this saying and he replied, "So even you are dull? Do you not see that whatever comes from outside cannot make a person unclean? Since it enters, not the heart but the stomach and is finally passed out." Thus Jesus declared that all foods are clean. And he went on, "What comes out of a person is what defiles, for evil designs come out of the heart: theft, murder, adultery, jealousy, greed, maliciousness, deceit, indecency, slander, pride and folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean."
Jesus seemed to have an x-ray mind that could read and penetrate the deepest and innermost parts of our being. He saw that what was wrong was not coming from the outside but from the inside. It's like pimples. The infection within causes the external pimples to appear. The real sickness is beneath the skin. Our real unhappiness is not from the outside but from the inside, in our hearts! Many times the reason we blame our unhappiness is the forces that are outside - the thoughtless spouse, the ungrateful children, the unjust boss, the corrupt society, the selfish neighbor, the lack of opportunities etc. But the Lord says very clearly "It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is within, from men's heart, that evil intentions emerge...." Therefore, let us not blame others for our misery, rather, our misery is caused by our inability to love, our inability to forgive, our inability to accept the history that God is giving us. We are the ones lacking in goodness and not the neighbor. Christ showed his obedience to the Father by not complaining about the history when he was brought into the world. His inner being and faith gave meaning to all the "undesired" events in his life. He knew that being the son of the carpenter, being rejected by his own people, was part of God's master plan. His inner being, spotless, without sin made him clean, so that he could wash away all the evil we have in our hearts.Let us allow Christ into our hearts, the source of all intentions.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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