In the Gospel reading today from Mark 7, we see the power of perseverance in prayer. A Greek woman, not a daughter of Israel, comes to Jesus asking that He drive a demon out of her daughter. Jesus refuses, telling her that His first mission is to the children of Israel. The woman will not be deterred, and continues to press Jesus. For her faith and perseverance, her daughter is healed.
In the first reading from 1 Kings 11, we read about the end of Solomon’s life. As we know, Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. And yet, even he turned his back on God. Solomon had many wives, and many of them were foreigners. They worshipped false gods. Solomon had idols erected to these false gods. And the one true God was not pleased with his disobedience. For the sake of Solomon’s father, David, God left one tribe intact in the land of Israel.
You would think with all that wisdom that Solomon would certainly never fall away from God. Yet he did. For me, this is a reminder that it can happen to anyone, even the great King Solomon. Even to me. There had to come a point when Solomon entertained thoughts of embracing these other gods. We must always be diligent in making sure that we do not entertain these thoughts. Oh, ours may not be statues or images. But our false gods can be things like lust, greed, envy, disordered passions…the list goes on and on. Be on your guard…if it happened to Solomon, it could happen to you.
Father, the lure of the world and of all manner of false gods is always there, always beckoning. Help us to keep our minds focused on you and doing your will. Amen.