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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2020
(Part 36)

SOLOMON AND THE SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN


February 13, 2020

Today’s readings:
1 Kings 11:4-13
Psalm 106:3-4,35-37,40
Mark 7:24-30

We are built on Rock when we listen to God’s words and act on His commands. When we do so, then we will become righteous and just, and as such we will be blessed. “Blessed those who do what is right, whose deeds are always just.” (Ps 106:3).

Solomon prospered and was blessed as long as he obeyed God and kept God’s covenant. Now God had told the Israelites not to join with foreign women “lest they turn your hearts to their gods.” (1 Kgs 11:2). But Solomon took 700 wives and 300 concubines, most of them foreign women, “and they turned his heart.” (1 Kgs 11:3). He followed foreign gods and built high places to them. “Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he did not follow the Lord unreservedly” (1 Kgs 11:6). God punished him, for “he did not observe what the Lord commanded.” (1 Kgs 11:10b).

It was the same with Israel, with which God had entered into covenant. Despite all the wonders the Lord did for them, they had also disobeyed God. They “mingled with the nations and imitated their ways. They served their idols and were ensnared by them. They sacrificed to demons their own sons and daughters.” (Ps 106:35-37). This is very much the situation of Christians and Catholics today.

  • Imitating the ways of the nations. Many have conformed to the zeitgeist. Many have become modernist. Instead of being set apart, they are indistinguishable from the sinful world around them.
  • Serving modern-day idols. These are the idols of materialism, consumerism, selfism, secular humanism, gender ideology, identity politics. Many have been ensnared, and have turned away from authentic Church teaching.
  • Sacrificing their own children to demons. The worst manifestation of this is abortion. And then there is the sacrifice of very young children at the hands of drag queens in public libraries, and the mutilation of transgender children to change their sex. Further, there is the rise of Satanism.

Would not all these anger God? Would not these acts by Christians be totally opposed to authentic Christian faith? Would not God then reject His covenanted people? “So the Lord grew angry with his people, abhorred his own heritage.” (Ps 106:40). Many Christians today are no longer built on the Rock that is Christ.

We need to put our faith totally on God. We need to know that only God can do wonders in our lives. We need to be like the Syrophoenician woman, who approached Jesus about her great need and pressed Jesus to heal her daughter. Unlike Solomon who had great wisdom but failed in acting wisely, here was a simple woman who acted with great wisdom. Jesus had said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” (Mk 7:27). Was she insulted? Was she discouraged? Did she slink away embarrassed? No. She persisted. “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” (Mk 7:28). Touché.

Many Christians today sacrifice their children to demons. In contrast, the Syrophoenician woman went to Jesus and “begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.” (Mk 7:26). Solomon had lost his faith; she had great faith. Solomon was punished; she was blessed. Solomon’s infidelity adversely affected his son, as God tore the kingdom away from him (1 Kgs 11:12b); on the other hand, “when the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.” (Mk 7:30).

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