2 Kgs 17 relates the sad tale of the fall of Samaria and the deportation throughout the Assyrian empire of Israelites from the northern kingdom. "Only the tribe of Judah was left," and the descendants of the tribe of Judah would put the blame for this squarely on the northern kingdom's lack of fidelity to the Lord, making inappropriate foreign alliances and importing strange cults into their worship. In a word: idolatry. When both Church and world experience being "rocked and split open" (Ps 60), idolatry is to blame, above all in the form of myriad ideologies all glorifying human power against the calm reign of God. Christian disciples are called to be purified of human ideology, submitting all things to Christ and his gospel. Without this purification, there is only hypocrisy, too many "beams in the eye" to help others transcend the clamor of the world by freeing their eyes of "splinters" (Mt 7:1-5). But with this purification, Christian disciples become fresh leaven in the world, sowing the true peace and justice of the kingdom of God.
-Given at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel (UST-St. Paul) on June 22, 2020, Monday of the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time