5th Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Saturday 10th February 2024

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St Scholastica, Virgin, pray for us

5th Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Saturday 10th February 2024

1 Kgs. 12:26-32; 13:33-34; Ps. 105:6-7a,19-20,21-22;
Mk. 8:1-10 (Ps. Wk. I)

The passage in the first reading illustrates the time after the reign of Solomon when a number of his sons succeeded him. However, due to poor leadership and internal conflicts, the nation of Israel, once united under David and Solomon, gradually disintegrated and was divided into two parts. The northern part, referred to as “Israel” (Samaria) was ruled by Jeroboam. The southern part became known as “Judah” under the reign of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.

Concerned his people would have to travel as pilgrims to the holy temple in Jerusalem in the southern kingdom, Jeroboam decided to establish a new religious centre in his kingdom. As a result, he built a temple at Bethel and instituted a pilgrimage to the temple. He also appointed non-Levitical priests. His actions, which went against Jewish laws, were condemned by the prophets. As prophesied, his kingdom became extinct over time.

The sinful and evil actions of Jeroboam are in contrast to that of Jesus. Far from creating division or acting out of disobedience to the Will of the Father, Jesus gathers the people around Him. He has compassion for them and feeds them. Through His words and actions, Jesus became the source of unity for the children of God.

He is the giver of the living bread, always ready to satisfy the hunger and thirst of the people. Today, He continues to gather people in the celebration of the Eucharist, the place where true Christian unity is formed.

Lord, may I be an instrument of unity, not division.


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