When Solomon was old, his wives had turned his heart to strange gods… The LORD, therefore, became angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the LORD, …the LORD said to Solomon: “Since this is what you want, … I will deprive you of the kingdom…”
“Since this is what you want…” How could the wisest man in the world make such a foolish choice? He was so focused on ruling over the earth that he forgot to safeguard the kingdom of his heart. Humility, born of obedience, was meant to be his protecting shield, but Solomon, thinking he knew better, let his heart be conquered, pillaged and divided until he could no longer say, like his father David, “One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek…” (Psalm 27:4).
In today’s gospel, we encounter a Greek woman who knew what she wanted; nothing would make her waver, not even Jesus calling her a dog. It is the humility in her response that wins her the favor she so longed for. I wonder how I would have reacted in her place. Perhaps my wounded ego would have persuaded me to leave “with my head held high,” rather than beg to the only one who could give me what I truly needed.
The ego can be a strange god indeed, requiring love of self before love of neighbor, love of self before love of God. Saint Peter Julian presents us with the means to conquer this usurper: through the gift of self. He teaches us to move from “navel-gazing” to adoration; to fill our eyes, our minds, and hearts with the One our heart desires. With his presence ever before us, humility will guard our hearts so that we may always know who we truly want.
Let us pray:
Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care, that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace, they may be defended always by your protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. (From Collect)
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)