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Thursday, February 8, 2018

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St. Jerome Emiliani
St. Josephine Bakhita

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

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when unity is idolatry

"Let the sons of the household satisfy themselves at table first. It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." —Mark 7:27

The Jewish people were to have nothing to do with Gentiles so that they would not be seduced into worshipping the false gods of the Gentiles. Solomon disregarded this prohibition. He even married Gentile wives (1 Kgs 11:4ff). This led to idolatry, which led to wars and civil war. Solomon proved the point about how destructive it was for Jews to mix with Gentiles.

Jesus called Jewish Christians not only to mix with Gentiles but also to become one with them (see Eph 3:6; 1 Cor 12:13). His healing and deliverance of the Syro-Phoenician woman's daughter was one of several prefigurements that Jews and Gentiles would be one in the body of Christ. Since mixing Jews and Gentiles had repeatedly and tragically failed for centuries, Jesus would have to be greater than Solomon for His plan of unity to work (see Lk 11:31). In fact, Jesus would have to be God for the Jews and Gentiles to be united to God's glory and not in idolatry.

Jesus is God. "It is He Who is our Peace, and Who made the two of us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility that kept us apart" (Eph 2:14). "There does not exist among you Jew or Greek" (Gal 3:28). "All are one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:28).

Prayer:  Jesus, make all Christians one as You and the Father are one (Jn 17:21).

Promise:  "When she got home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone." —Mk 7:30

Praise:  St. Jerome wrote: "If then you remain constant in the face of trials, the Lord will give you peace and rest for a time in this world and forever in the next."

Reference:  (For more teaching on unity, order our booklet, Introduction to Small Christian Communities.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2017

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