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Friday, February 11, 2000

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Our Lady of Lourdes

1 Kings 11:29-32; 12:19
Psalm 81
Mark 7:31-37

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when something isn't better than nothing

"I will tear away the kingdom from Solomon's grasp and will give you ten of the tribes. One tribe shall remain to him." —1 Kings 11:31-32

Solomon was the wisest person who had ever lived (1 Kgs 3:12). Solomon proved his exceptional wisdom by settling a dispute between two harlots, each of whom claimed to be the mother of a baby. When Solomon was about to cut the baby in half, the woman who volunteered to give up her baby to the other woman was recognized as the true mother (1 Kgs 3:26-27). She preferred to lose the baby rather than have half of it.

Later, Solomon's kingdom was divided (1 Kgs 11:31). The people reasoned that having part of the kingdom was better than having none at all. But Jesus said: "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste. Any house torn by dissension falls" (Lk 11:17).

The body of Christ today has been torn to pieces. We have a world decimated by ethnic and national divisions. Many of our churches, marriages, and families are divided, divorced, broken, and shattered. Few are alarmed by the fragmentation of our world. Too many think that they at least have something. However, is our disunity not only a deprivation but a destruction?

Prayer:  Father, on this World Day for the Sick, heal divisions through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Promise:  "Their amazement went beyond all bounds: 'He has done everything well! He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!' " —Mk 7:37

Praise:  At Lourdes, France, many thousands of wheelchairs, braces, and canes are left behind at the basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes because their owners have been healed and no longer need them.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999