Today we pick up where we left off before Lent. Today is Monday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time. We probably need to catch up on the readings as well.
The first reading is from Chapter 17 of the First Book of Kings. After Solomon, the kingdom is split in two: the Kingdom of Israel, and the Kingdom of Judah (Jerusalem and environs, God keeping his promise to David). The two kingdoms are ruled by a series of gravely flawed kings. When we pick up the story Asa is ruling Judah, and Ahab is ruling Israel. Ahab has turned to the worship of Baal. In response, God sends a prophet named Elijah, and here is where we pick up the story 1 Kings 17.
Elijah prophesies a drought and the God tells him to go and hide. The modern name for the location is Wadi al-Yabis in the country of Jordan.
To our modern minds these readings seem unfair. Why would God punish a whole people with a drought for the sins of one. Once again our modern American individualism is shown to not be God's visions of humanity.
If we go back to Genesis, we see that God created a single humanity of which we are all parts. The question "Am I my brothers keeper?" was asked by the murder Cain. God created the man and said that it was not good for him to be alone. We are social by our very nature. Like it or not we are interconnected.
Yes, we are unique persons. And yes, we are part of one humanity. Once more it is not either/or. It is both/and.
The actions of one always have a ripple effect. They always effect others, even when the effect is not immediately seen. The good of one lifts up the whole and the evil of one brings down the whole. This is even more pronounced among those of us who are part of the body of Christ, and are bound together by the Holy Spirit.
It is a reminder to each of us that our individual choices matter, and that we must always use wisely the gift of free will that God has given to us. We are always either building up or tearing down.
Suppose I do nothing? That we call a sin of omission. If I do nothing, I have wasted a precious day of life God has given me.
Today use wisely the gift God has given you, and choose the path of life, the path that lifts up your brothers and sisters, the path of love.