Saint for the day: Colette (January 13, 1381 – March 6, 1447)
1 Kings 10:1-10 – Ps. 37 – Mark 7:14-23
“Pray for an ‘understanding heart.”
Today the Church gives us two very different examples of “wisdom:” the wisdom of Solomon or the (false) wisdom of the Pharisees. Two very different examples of who can become a saint. In today’s liturgy we are also given two very different approaches to our understanding of “wisdom.” We remember hearing just a few days ago about Solomon, worried about how he was going to “step into his father, David’s, shoes to lead the ‘People of god’ and how he asked for an “understanding heart” and not riches or long life. Today, we hear Jesus telling the Pharisees that their understanding of “purity” doesn’t come from outside the person but, rather, from the evil desires of the heart. They thought that their following of all 613 precepts of “the Law” could make them pure and acceptable to God. It was a false wisdom that only made it harder and harder to find their way to God. Solomon’s request for “an understanding heart” is his key into entering into the Kingdom of God. The Pharisees, however, never missed one jot or tittle of the Law and saw themselves separated away from any thing or person that would defile them. Jesus, on the other hand, like so many of our saints sought out the very people whom the Pharisees shunned.
Our prayer, today, like that of Solomon, is for that ‘understanding heart’ to see what God desires of us: to take care of widows and orphans; heal the sick and set captives free. Amen!.