On the Glory of the Kingdom of God

But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, […] All these evils come from within and they defile.

Our Lord Jesus Christ presents to us today the truth that moral righteousness or wickedness does not come from an external source, but comes “from within the man, from his heart.” The heart here should be taken to mean the will, where both sin and acts of charity find their source. Our Lord is not attempting to say that ones external actions or surroundings are irrelevant to the spiritual and moral life. This is clear from His explanation, “Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach.” That is to say, when the heart, i.e., the will, is not involved, there can be no sin. Yet, very often our external surroundings very much entangle our will and affect its ability to choose the good.

The Glory of Solomon

We see this principle of moral goodness coming from within a person play out in the first reading. The glory that the Queen of Sheba sees when she visits Israel is principally that of King Solomon, “Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report I heard. Blessed are your men, blessed these servants of yours, who stand before you always and listen to your wisdom.” His wisdom, which resides within him, guides the kingdom and the greatness of it is seen clearly all around. If Solomon’s wisdom should fail, then his kingdom will also fail. For Solomon, this unfortunately comes to pass and the trigger is the wishes of his many wives, which drew his heart away from the One True Good.

The Glory of the Kingdom of Heaven

If the moral goodness present in a weak man by the gift of God can create such a glorious kingdom, what shall Heaven be like? Let us take a moment to consider the glory which must be manifest in the heavenly kingdom where Jesus, Divine Wisdom Incarnate, reigns as King. How great must be “the palace he [has] built, the food at his table, the seating of his ministers, the attendance and garb of his waiters, his banquet service, and the [offering] he offered in the temple of the LORD!” This glory shall not be fully manifested until the end of time, but Jesus wishes even now for us to partake of by allowing Him to reign as King in our hearts. And if we wish to have Jesus for our King, like the Israelites with Solomon, we must have His mother for our queen. With these monarchs, the Divine Wisdom and the Seat of Wisdom, reigning over us, we shall find that what comes from within us, far from defiling us, is very pleasing to God.

[Readings: 1 Kgs 10:1-10; Mk 7:14-23]

Connor Szurgot

Through his reversion to the Faith at the end of high school, Connor experienced first hand both the power of grace and the intellectual rigor of the Church’s teachings. He continued to grow his knowledge during his college studies at NC State, where he was also blessed to meet his future wife. He now lives in Raleigh, NC with his beautiful wife and young son, where he is a parishioner of St. Luke the Evangelist. He is excited to give to others some of the fruit that God has given to him and hopes that it can help those who read it grow in holiness. Email: [email protected]

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