Day 163: Faith Over Success

1 Kings 13:1-34 An unnamed “man of God” refused Jeroboam’s hospitality in accordance with God’s instruction but was tricked into accepting an invitation from the prophet of Bethel, thereby causing him to lose his life. The prophet of Bethel saw the death of the man of God as a confirmation that the curse against the altar was authentically from God. Jeroboam, on the other hand, did not heed the signs and continued his apostasy. (CCC 2089)

2 Chronicles 12:1-16 This book emphasizes clearly the relationship between the fidelity of the king and the benefits he reaped during his reign. When Rehoboam strayed from God’s ways, Egypt waged war on Judah and was permitted by God to inflict heavy damage on the cities and the Temple. When Rehoboam repented of his sin, the siege abated and Judah recovered.

Ch 13:1-22 Abijah’s discourse stressed that Judah represented the true Kingdom of Israel because it preserved the line of David and that the people of Judah continued to offer proper worship to God led by the Levite priests. By contrast, the Northern Kingdom was in rebellion against Judah, fell into idolatry, and replaced the Levitical priesthood with its own.

Ch 13:5 Covenant of salt: This metaphor for an everlasting covenant refers to the use of salt as a preservative (cf. Num 18:19)

Song of Solomon 2:1-7 After exchanging mutual praise, both lovers express how their love for one another exceeds human bounds. In the Sacrament of Matrimony, grace is given so spouses can love each other with the heart of Christ Himself. “By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, Christ himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to ‘receive’ the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ. This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life” (CCC 1615).

Ch 2:8-17 The luscious setting of springtime is poetically complemented by the nurturing love of the lover and his beloved. Here we find multiple allegorical images that point to the poem’s deeper meaning: the lover is depicted as a shepherd, an image used for the Father to relate how God cares for his flock, his people. The author refers symbolically to Israel as a vineyard that requires diligent care and protection from its owner, who is God himself. In the New Testament, Christ is described as the Good Shepherd, and the sheep as the members of his Church; the New Testament also compares the Church to a vineyard that is planted by God and rooted in Christ, the true vine, from which his people take life and nourishment as branches. (CCC 754-755)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we give you glory. We thank you so much for your Word and for continuing to speak to us and for continuing to pursue us. Lord, our hearts are broken and yet you draw near to mend them. Our lives are full of darkness and yet you bring your light into them. Heal what has been broken. Bring light to where there is darkness and may everything that we do and everything we say and everything that we are give you praise and glory. Now and forever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

Dustin's Insights 

1 Kgs. 12:

My Study Color Code

Suffering, Martyrdom Places The Church, Sacraments, Divinity Horticultural Imagery People Messianic Kingship Sin, Death, Decay