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Pope Francis Losing our Faithfulness 13.02.20


Pope Francis: Losing our Faithfulness 13.02.20    



Pope Francis   13.02.20  Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)        1 Kings 11:4-13    Psalm 106: 35-36      

Pope Francis talks about turning away from God 13.02.20

When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods.

King Solomon began as a “good boy”, who asked the Lord for wisdom and God made him wise to the point that judges, and even the Queen of Sheba in Africa, came bearing gifts because they had heard of his wisdom.

At that time it was possible to have more than one wife. But that did not mean it was permissible to be “a womanizer”.

But Solomon’s heart became weak, not because he married several women, but because they came from other peoples with other gods. He fell into a trap by letting his wives convince him to worship their idols, Chemosh or Molech.

And so he did this for all his foreign women who offered sacrifices to their gods. In one word, he allowed everything and stopped worshipping the one God. With a weakened heart because of his overly fondness for women, paganism entered his life. Then that wise man who had prayed well asking for wisdom, fell to the point of being rejected by the Lord.

His wasn’t an apostasy overnight. It was a slow apostasy. Even King David, his father, in fact, had sinned - strongly at least twice - but immediately he had repented and asked for forgiveness: he had remained faithful to the Lord who guarded him to the end. David wept for that sin and for the death of his son Absalom, and when he fled from him before, he was humbled thinking of his sin, when people insulted him. He was holy. Solomon is not holy. The Lord had given him so many gifts, but he had wasted everything because he had let his heart weaken. King Solomon did not just sin once but slid into sin.

The women led his heart astray, and the Lord rebuked him: ‘You have turned your heart away.’ This happens in our own lives. None of us is a criminal; none of us commits great sins like David did with the wife of Uriah. But wherein lies the danger? Letting ourselves slide slowly, because it is an anesthetized fall. You don’t even realize it, but slowly you slip. Things get relativized, and faithfulness to God is lost. These women were from other peoples – they had their own gods – and how often do we forget the Lord and begin to deal with other gods: money, vanity, pride. But this is done slowly, and without the grace of God everything is lost.

Psalm 106: 35-36 "But they mingled with the nations and imitated their ways. They served their idols and were ensnared by them", shows that serving their idols means becoming worldly and pagan.

For us this slippery slide in life is towards worldliness. This is the grave sin: ‘Everyone is doing it, don’t worry about it; obviously it’s not ideal, but…’ We justify ourselves with these words to the price of losing our faithfulness to the one God. They are modern idols. Let us consider this sin of worldliness, of losing the authenticity of the Gospel. The authenticity of the Word of God, and the love of God who gave His life for us. There is no way to maintain a good relationship with God and the devil. In practice it means not being faithful "neither to God nor to the devil." 

Let us think of this sin of Solomon, let us think of how that wise Solomon fell, blessed by the Lord, with all the inheritances of his father David, how he fell slowly, anesthetized towards this idolatry, towards this worldliness, and the kingdom was taken from him.

Let us ask the Lord for the grace to understand when our heart begins to weaken and to slide, so that we can stop. It will be His grace and His love that will stop us if we pray for him.