It is beautiful to think that God makes His dwelling amongst us. He comes to us in Eucharist and dwells in our hearts. This gift is so amazing! How can we leave Him alone for an instant? If we would just approach the throne of grace and stay with Him, times of difficulty would go much smoother and our hearts would stay truer. He pours Himself into us. Alas! So many times we worship Him with our lips but our hearts are far from Him.
We blame so many things for pulling us away but Jesus says simply, “Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” To make Himself even more clear He says, “But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”
The truth that lies at the very center of this teaching is simple, from within the man, from his heart. What is there? If we remain true to God and stay close to Him He graces us with a wisdom beyond all understanding. This pure heart pleases Him. However we must stay with Him. Look at King Solomon. Such a pleasure he was to the Lord. He remained very close to the Lord and none could approach his wisdom. He was prosperous and rich and young. But what happened? He grew careless and did not guard his wisdom. He had a whole harem of foreign wives and began to worship with them their foreign gods. By the time he had age, his wisdom became worldly. What happened? God was displeased with him. Unlike his father David, his heart did not remain true. God gave the kingdom to Solomon’s servant. But for the sake of His Promise to David one tribe remained in the family. Judah.
What can we learn from this? God looks at the heart. We may sin out of human weakness but if we turn to the Lord and ask for His transformation of our heart, God cannot resist a repentant heart who recognizes sin and at least desires to be better and grow. It is when we turn to wealth and riches and glory, technology power, success…What have you. In a word idols. Things that are gods, worldly wisdom, our own power and glory and might and not to God.
So how can we test the heart? How did the Queen of Sheba recognize the wisdom of Solomon? She saw its fruit. She saw his splendor. She saw his superior knowledge by questioning carefully what he knew and spoke. We should not fear the questioning for God is true and supplies our every need. Where we lack, is the opportunity to let God work. It is the place of grace. The place of growth.
It is good to recognize the weak part of us for it is here that God wishes to touch and heal us. The problem lies in turning away from the Lord when we need Him the most to worldly wisdom. This displeases the Lord and is where, unless we turn to him, will fail and fall. But not to fear. It is only the unrepentant heart that is rejected. No matter what has happened or what you have done turn to the Lord. Also recognize that in that place of weakness is where you will be attacked. We cannot win unless we are reinforced with God’s grace.
It should not be a place of fear but trust in the goodness of God. He calls for faith. We see that in His dealings with the foreign woman who runs to Him for the healing of her daughter. At first glance, it appears that He is chastising her and rejecting her. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” But no! What is her response? “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” He was looking for her faith. Was it true? He responds in tenderness and heals her daughter. So it is with us. Do not fear the test of suffering and questioning. We find our true selves. And it is there we can find God.