Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ahab and Jezebel, "What not to do": Daily Mass Homily--Monday, June 16th, 2014

            Ahab and Jezebel were two of the most wicked rulers of Israel.  Their very names should cause us to cringe.  Their infamy was leading the people of Israel away from God and the covenant between God and the people to the pagan god of Baal.
            One of their most egregious acts of these two was described in 1 Kings.  To obtain the property Ahab desired, Jezebel conspired to have Naboth killed.  Ahab got what he wanted at the cost of an innocent man’s life.
            Yet consider this act at a spiritual level.  Ahab wanted something he could not have.  Rather than praise God for the gifts given to another, or at least to offer the Lord his temptation to covet, he became jealous.  He and Jezebel then lied and had Naboth killed.  The result of Ahab’s sin was literally death.
            I want to share with you a few verses from the book of James and compare it to the passage we just heard: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).
            Whenever we sin, we follow the path of Ahab away from God.  And these are often not the big sins of murder, theft or adultery.  We become angry with someone—which is a normal human emotion—but then allow anger to give birth to hatred, grudges or gossip.  We are tempted by the passions and rather than praying seek to indulge them.
            The goal of our lives is to not do as Ahab and Jezebel.  Rather, we must cut temptations off at the pass before they can grow and eventually lead to spiritual death.  We can only do this with God’s grace—grace that neither Ahab nor Jezebel sought in this passage.

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