10.02.2024 — Corrupt Heart

5th Week in Ord. Time, Saturday – 10th February 2024 – 1 Kgs 12,26-32; 13,33-34; Mark 8,1-10

Corrupt Heart

The first reading presents the accounts of King Jeroboam, king of ten tribes of Israel, establishing new places of worship in two centres. After the split of the nation, the people of Israel still went back to worship God in Jerusalem. They had the practice of making pilgrimage three times a year to the Jerusalem Temple. Jeroboam was afraid that they would return and reunite themselves and then he would lose his ruling power. In order to avoid them going to Jerusalem, he set up rival forms of worship and appointed a rival priesthood. With his corrupt and wicked heart, like the sin of the high priest Aaron (Ex 32,4), Jeroboam commissioned not one but two golden calves to be made. He declared them to be the god who brought Israel out of Egypt. He placed one calf near southern border in Bethel, and another in Dan, near the northern border of the kingdom of Israel. In both these towns, he installed new (non-Levitical) priests to conduct the worship ceremonies. Because Jeroboam encouraged this idolatrous worship, his dynasty was short-lived.