1 Kings 11:4-13; Ps 106 Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people; Mark 7:24-30
Sometimes when I look at the readings for the given day's liturgy, I scratch my head trying to figure out how they fit together or why were they chosen to be together.
Today's readings was that for me as well.
Int he first reading we get Solomon making political alliances by compromising his religion. Now this sounds eerily familiar. Look around. how many politicians and people in general compromise their religion for alliance of a political sort.
Solomon bows his knee to the pagan gods, Astarte, Milcom, Chemosh, and Moloch.
In the gospel we have Jesus encountering a pagan woman who will do everything to save her daughter, even to the point of forsaking her gods.
Solomon bows the knee to the gods that would have been worshipped by the syrophoenician woman in the gospel. She bow shed knee to Jesus seeing that he rods really haven't helped her much.
It is ironic. Solomon turns away from God almighty for his own personal gain; the mother turns toward God almighty for the sake of another.
Now think about the pagan gods for a moment. Astarte was considered a female demon of Lust. Today Trojan or viagra might be the company that relates to this pagan goddess. Moloch was a god that demanded child sacrifice. Perhaps Planned Parenthood and the abortion mills might have this god enshrined. Chemosh was a god that also enjoyed violence and human sacrifice. Perhaps this god would be a welcome for those who push illegal drugs upon our children and family members.
Either way there are many things in our society that want us to turn our heart from God not unlike in the time of Solomon. There are many who want us to make alliances with them and to look for happiness in all the wrong places. Isn't that what all consumer companies want. They want us to think happiness is found in what they offer: Beer, Smokes, Cars, Shoes, Video games, computers and on and on.
It is our task to guard our heart and then drive them from our land and refocus our heart on the living God where happiness alone is found.
It is said that Solomon erected a shrine to Moloch on the hill opposite Jerusalem, which was probably Mount of Olives. It is only when we spend time with JEsus on Mount Olives can we truly get our hearts aligned correctly. It is ironic.