“Since you have not kept my covenant, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant.”
A reading from the first Book of Kings 1 Kings 11:4—13
When Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 106:3-4.35-36.37 and 40 (R. see 4a)
R/. O Lord, remember us with the favour you show to your people
Blessed are they who observe what is just,
who at all times do what is right.
O Lord, remember me
with the favour you show to your people.
Visit me with your saving power. R/.
Instead they mingled with the nations,
and learned to act as they did.
They also served their idols,
and these became a snare to entrap them. R/.
They even offered their sons
and their daughters in sacrifice to demons.
Then God’s anger blazed against his people;
he was filled with horror at his heritage. R/.
Alleluia. Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. Alleluia.
“The dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 7:24-30)
At that time: Jesus arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hidden. But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him,’ and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus leaves the borders of Israel and enters the regions of Tyre and Sidon. (Presently these two cities are in Lebanon.) There Jesus encountered a woman identified in the scriptures as the Syrophoenician. In other words, the woman is of Syrian and Phoenician ancestry. The bottom-line is that the woman was not a Jewish woman; she was a foreigner. She must have heard of Jesus for her to run to him for assistance. Despite Jesus’ negative remark on her request, she did not give up, rather she accepted her status but persevered in her request. This show of humility and faith amazed Jesus such that he instantly granted her request. She went home in faith to find her demoniac daughter sober and delivered. The encounter with the Syrophoenician woman tells us that Jesus has no boundaries. Introduces him to all and sundry irrespective of creed.