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Thursday, February 8, 2024

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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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do you really want that?

“Since this is what you want…” —1 Kings 11:11

Surely many people would love to have a vision of God just once in their life. Solomon, king of Israel, saw God twice (1 Kgs 11:9). Sadly, even these visions were not enough to keep Solomon’s heart close to the Lord (1 Kgs 11:4); “his heart was turned away from the Lord” (1 Kgs 11:9). Surely many people long for spiritual gifts such as wisdom. Solomon had all of that and so much more. In the end, God said to Solomon, “Since this is what you want, the pleasures and idolatries of the world, you will be deprived of the kingdom” (see 1 Kgs 11:11ff).

Like Solomon, the Galatian Christians began well in the Lord. They started in the Spirit, but that was not enough for them, and their relationship with God faltered. St. Paul asked them, “After beginning in the Spirit, are you now to end in the flesh? Have you had such remarkable experiences all to no purpose?” (Gal 3:3-4)

What is required instead is a humble hunger and thirst for God. It is so easy to relax and seek comfort in the things of this world, to grow lazy in our relationship with God. Beg the Lord for the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13), Who fights against our fleshly desires (Gal 5:17).

The ever-present danger is that we may “fall away from [our] sincere and complete devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3). May God never have to say to us, “Since this is what you want…” (1 Kgs 11:11). Far better for us to say to God, “Since this is what You want, Lord, I offer You my life so that Your kingdom may come and Your will may be done” (see Mt 6:10).

Prayer:  Father, use me as You will. May I “turn now ten times the more to seek” You (Bar 4:28).

Promise:  “Happy are they who observe what is right, who do always what is just.” —Ps 106:3

Praise:  Once careless, irreligious, and violent, St. Jerome became more than a conqueror through the power of Jesus (Rm 8:37).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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