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Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Kings 11:29-32; 12:19 & Mk. 7:31-37

Under King Solomon, the twelve tribes of Israel had been united. In yesterday's reading we heard how Solomon abandoned his faith in God and began to worship false gods. Today we see the consequences of Solomon's infidelity. Now his kingdom was going to be divided. The prophet Ahijah announced to Jeroboam,
Solomon's minister, that the kingdom would be torn apart, like a piece of cloth torn into twelve strips. The northern part would consist of ten tribes and would be called the kingdom of Israel. The southern part would be the tribe of Judah, which by David's time had incorporated the tribe of Simeon, thus accounting for the twelve tribes. From this moment the kingdoms of Israel and Judah go their separate ways, often in open hostility to one another. It was a very sad affair.

In spite of this division, God's plan was not going to be frustrated. His Son would be born of the house of David and the tribe of Judah and it was His mission to replace hatred with love. In the Gospel the deaf man with the speech impediment is a symbol of disunity. Unable to hear or to communicate properly, he was cut off from those around him and forced to live a solitary life. Jesus cured him. In this we see that Jesus is the one who can restore unity out of chaos.

Nowhere is unity more evident than in the Eucharist, when we should become one with Christ and one with each other. If we are in union with Christ then we will be in union with each other.

Lord Jesus, give us the grace to make the Holy Communion of today’s Mass the most fervent Holy Communion we will ever make and so be really one with You and with each other.

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