Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Devotions

1Kgs 10:1-10; Ps 37:5,6,30,31,39,40; Mk 7:14-23

The Word of God was the constant preoccupation for all who pray.  It permeates all our days and frequents our every conversation.  Since the Law of the LORD is in their hearts, their footsteps do not falter.  They find refuge in time of distress.  The LORD does not refuse our prayer; even a violent storm can be the very answer to prayer we need and don’t even know it.  In this world we may pray for conflicting ends, but we all look forward to the unity that is complete in the fullness of the kingdom of heaven.  This is the promise made to all who commit their life to the LORD and trust in him.

 

The Queen of Sheba and King Solomon sought wisdom.  This foreign queen came to test the King of Israel.  It takes a great deal of wisdom to know when to loosen and when to bind.   The queen came to question Solomon on every subject in which she was interested.  King Solomon shared from his great wisdom. With all that the Queen of Sheba experienced in the palace of the king and in all her questions, she was breathless.  The queen had no words and no breath to speak yet another question, so completely brilliant was Solomon’s wisdom. She ended her visit by blessing the king and his attendants and his people for his wisdom far surpassed all the reports he had heard.  This pagan visitor even blessed the LORD, Solomon’s God whom it pleased to give him the throne of Israel.  Indeed, with her limited faith, she could see that the LORD had enduring love for Israel. In thanksgiving, the Queen of Sheba gave an abundance of spices and royal gifts. “Never again did anyone bring such an abundance of spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”  Perhaps we can begin to find the Beauty of Christ in the Holy Wisdom which we hear proclaimed in this liturgy and every time we gather for the Holy Mass.

 

The Lord Jesus educates the crowd about the difference between good and evil.  Indeed, he shares the wisdom of God with them.  He declared all foods clean when he taught them that only those things that come out of a person defile.  From within our hearts, from a place much deeper than our digestive systems, we have desires for unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, and folly.  Good and evil are now presented by the Divine Teacher, the New Solomon, as a matter of our interior world that we willingly impose our distorted desires upon the world and those who dwell there in. Now we are ready to learn about this danger. Now we are ready to learn how to grow in virtue, and how to uproot vice from the garden within. Our being unclean is not simply a ritual imperfection. We bring to light the true nature of our hearts by the fruit we bear in our everyday lives.