Memorial of Saint Scholastica, virgin
(I Kings 11:29-32.12:19; Mark 7:31-37)
The economic crises in Greece, Italy, and Spain and the one likely to happen in the United States within twenty years have a similar root. Individuals seeking personal security at society’s expense are leaving huge debts that younger generations will not bear. As a result the economic system weakens to the verge of collapse. A preview of the phenomenon may be gleaned from the first Book of Kings from which this week’s first readings are taken.
In yesterday’s reading, I Kings related how the corruption of Solomon portended trouble for his kingdom. Solomon unabashedly depleted his treasury with constructions honoring a plethora of foreign gods. The reading did not relate, but it can be said with probability, that Solomon taxed the people unbearably to attain the wealth he squandered. The result is seen in the reading today. The prophet Ahijah pronounces the splitting of Solomon’s kingdom with the major portion taken from Solomon’s heir.
Government leaders have a herculean task in providing for the welfare of the people. They certainly need our prayers. We also should scrutinize candidates for public office before elections. We need lawmakers and administrators who will look after the legitimate needs of the people, especially the poor. Furthermore, they should not pander to the greed of the rich or the envy of the poor.