1 Kings 12:26-32;13:33-34
Jeroboam thought to himself, ‘As things are, the kingdom will revert to the House of David. If this people continues to go up to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, the people’s heart will turn back again to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will put me to death.’ So the king thought this over and then made two golden calves; he said to the people, ‘You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, Israel; these brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ He set up one in Bethel and the people went in procession all the way to Dan in front of the other. He set up the temple of the high places and appointed priests from ordinary families, who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam also instituted a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth of the month, like the feast that was kept in Judah, and he went up to the altar. That was how he behaved in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made; and at Bethel he put the priests of the high places he had established.
Jeroboam did not give up his wicked ways but went on appointing priests for the high places from the common people. He consecrated as priests of the high places any who wished to be. Such conduct made the House of Jeroboam a sinful House, and caused its ruin and extinction from the face of the earth.
A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.
Such conduct made the House of Jeroboam a sinful House, and caused its ruin and extinction from the face of the earth
It would be horrifying to any ancestor or forefather if such a statement as mentioned above is to be prophesised. They will certainly be very upset that such an approach has been adopted by their descendants and prevent them from continuing the lineage that they have started. I believe that this course of action often stems from the lack of desire to remember the roots of one’s legacy.
In a similar way, detractors of the Catholic Church may say that the teachings and practices are not practical and lack the ability to handle the issues of modernity but it is my opinion that there must be some wisdom in an institution that has survived for such a long time. Indeed there is wisdom in the prescription of certain beliefs and practices.
The House of Jeroboam fell because he had refused to follow the way of truth. It was an action driven by pride and of fear. Our actions that prevent us from getting closer to God are also driven by fear and this is why we must continually seek the healing powers of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to ensure that we are in line with the teachings of God.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Lord we pray for the grace to make a thorough Examination of conscience.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all Confessors.