Monday, June 23, 2014

Learning from the sinful Israelites: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, June 23rd, 2014

           This morning I’d like to share the context of our first reading from 2 Kings.  There are three movements throughout the Bible—God loves us, we sin, God is faithful—and we see a great example of the consequences of sin in this passage.
            Backing up, the very desire for a kingdom of Israel sprang from sin.  The people did not trust God and wanted a king to be like other nations.  God allowed this and called forth Saul as the first king of Israel.  Yet Saul’s sin caused him to forfeit his kingly call.
            David and Solomon—the second and third kings of Israel—were integral in solidifying the nation by consolidating rule and conquering various peoples.  Yet Solomon quickly stumbled, worshiping pagan gods, thus rejecting God.  The kingdom had barely been established and sin led to division!
              This division continued throughout salvation history.  The northern tribes (Israel) and southern tribe (Judah) formed two separate kingdoms.  One of the reasons why the books of Kings and Chronicles are difficult to follow is because they jump back and forth from the north to the south.
            What we read today was the tragedy of the Israelites being decimated.  They were conquered by the Assyrians, led into exile and vanish from history as an independent nation.  Looking back, this led to a period where our Jewish ancestors hung on by a thread through the tribe of Judah.
            So what does this mean for us?  First, we read the Old Testament as a reminder of the cycles of life—God loves us, we sin, God is faithful.  Our sins, like the sins of the Israelites, have consequences and always lead to division in our own person, with your spouse and children, at work and in life.  Sin is a reality of our fallen nature.  The major issue from the Israelites—they didn’t repent from their sin.  There was a break between the reality that we sin and that God is faithful.  When we sin, then, we must seek God Who is always faithful and humbly ask for His forgiveness.
            Let’s not be like the Israelites who sinned without repenting.  Rather, let us approach our loving Father with humility and seek His fidelity and love.

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