Friday, February 14, 2014

Learning Charity from the Old Testament

When we think of Solomon, we think of wisdom. When we think of David, we think great King.

Today's first reading the the prophesy of Solomon's loss of ten out of the twelves tribes, because of his infidelity. Ten will go to Jeroboam, one will remain with Solomon for the sake of his father David, one will be God's own.

Despite the great sin, we remember both men for the good that they accomplished. The question is why should it take so long. Why is it we can be charitable toward someone from thousands of years ago and yet let someone in our own time sin, and our response is "Crucify him." Every good or wise thing that they have ever done is wiped from the face of the earth, like soviet era history books.

Solomon sinned and in justice God punished him for it. But it did not erase all the good that he did in his lifetime, nor the wisdom that he display in most of his leadership. He remains the paragon of wisdom.

Except for Jesus, every great leader has been an imperfect human being, if our goal in life is to dig up dirt who will survive. As Christian we are supposed to exemplify three virtues above all: faith, hope, and charity. Charity is not just giving food to the poor. It is the attitude we take toward Chris Christy, Justin Bieber, and whoever occupies today's embarrassing headline.

When we see someone mess up in life, our Christian response should be one of prayer. Turning people into punch-lines and caricatures may seem for a moment funny, but in truth it is dehumanizing and most simply not Christian.

We shouldn't wait three millennia to see the good in others.