- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

February 12, 2020

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

5th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
1 Kings 10:1-10; Mark 7:14-23

In today’s first reading we encounter Solomon who was notorious for his wisdom
and judgment. In the Gospel, we encounter the Wisdom of God made flesh. Solomon
had amassed numerous blessings; Jesus Christ is the Blessing of God given to all of
us. Our faith life has less to do with what we possess than with by Whom we are
possessed. The apostle to the gentiles exhorts us to “think about things that are above,
not the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2) because “we are citizens of heaven, from
where we look for the Giver of Life, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). It is important
that we are mindful “that where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also
be” (Mat. 6:21). By raising our hearts in prayer and by pondering the Sacred Word we
will find “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn. 14:6).

Because “he existed before all things, and because in him all things have their
proper place” (Col. 1:17) it is “in him we live, and move, and have our being” ((Acts
17:28). We are called to “strain toward the goal to win the prize for which God offers us
in Christ” (Phil. 3:14). The apostle James instructs us: “Put aside all uncleanness and
every expression of evil and in humility receive the implanted Word that can save your
life” (Jam. 1:21). Our Lord and Savior said, “You will know them by their fruits” (Mat.
7:16). Continuing his comments, Jesus said, “A good tree produces healthy fruit, but a
corrupt tree yields evil fruit” (Mat. 7:17). Do we bring fruits of life or death? Holiness or
sin? Joy or sadness? Beauty or ugliness? Creation or destruction? Are we children of
the Light or of Darkness? If we are animated by love for God and neighbor we will bring
forth fruits of unity, joy, and peace.

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus juxtaposes the human body with the human
heart. The body is the dwelling place of God and the heart which is the repository of the
Spirit. The creator of the universe highlighted the relationship between body, soul and
mind. We must never forget that it was He who “formed man’s body from the dust of the
earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 2:7). When God breathed
life into us he made us fully human. What comes out of our hearts either defiles or
blesses. We make ourselves less human, less the image of God with our evil thoughts,
unchastely, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, arrogance, folly (Cf. Mk. 7:22).

My brothers and sisters, let us inhale the breath of life and allow God to make us truly
human again. God’s Word has the power to change our lives and to lead us out of
darkness into the light. If we are willing to repent of all our sins we can bring forth the
fruits of righteousness. If we allow him, God can give us the beauty of life. He can give
us peace of heart. By Christ’s victory over sin and death, he can give us victory over our
sins. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, if we open our hearts to Him we
can be taken into His loving embrace. Loving Lord, you made us and you know us,
please draw us to your sacred heart and immerse us in the depths of your abundant life.