In today’s first reading from 1 Kings 11, we see the beginning of the splitting up of Israel. Solomon had turned his back and worshipped false gods. God told him that He would divide up the house of Israel, leaving just one tribe to represent the House of David. And the final sentence of today’s reading affirms this. “Israel went into rebellion against David’s house to this day.”
In the Gospel reading from Mark 7, Jesus cures a man with a speech impediment. “He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue…immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.” This notion of speaking plainly intrigues me. This man needed the touch of Jesus to speak plainly. As do we.
Too often I believe that we don’t speak plainly. Now, it may not be that we have a speech impediment, per se. At least not a physical one. But too often we soft pedal around the truth, hoping not to offend anyone. Does this really do them a disservice? I believe that it does. Now, we must be diplomatic at times. But we must never run the risk of not making the truth plainly known. To ourselves, and to others.
Father, we ask you to give us the courage to speak plainly. To speak the truth in love, always. Amen.