Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (30th July)

1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12, Rm 8:28-30, Mt 13:44-52
“King David was old and advanced in years and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm” (1Kg 1:1). Wisely, he chose his successor as King of Israel and Judah, his son Solomon. He was a young man, “unskilled in leadership” . His father’s advice to him was, “to be strong, be courageous, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments”. Solomon loved God. In a dream, God asked him (referring to his new role),“Ask what I should give you.” Solomon asked for knowledge and understanding and wisdom to discern what was right and just in his leadership of God’s people. God was pleased because Solomon had not asked just for perishable things like wealth and honour and glory. Solomon received what he had asked for –  Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom. Solomon was a good man. He wanted to please God more than anything else in the world. The hidden wisdom and understanding God had given him was realised in his dealing with the many difficulties he encountered during his life.

The lack of knowledge is a woeful place to be in. For the Christian, seeking true knowledge of God in our world can be a difficult task, requiring an understanding of the implications of being a true follower of Jesus. The task can be beset by the many adverse happenings round about us. Many of these are external and worldwide while others are caused by our own mediocre intent. Jesus, in today’s gospel, in response to his disciples, illuminated in parable what He meant by seeking God’s way. The three parables speak of a treasure that has to be sought or bought and valued. The wise one in each parable is ready to go and secure that treasure. The treasure discarded and buried in a field was a ‘must buy’. The intending buyer sells all. The ‘pearl of great price’ merited the selling of all other possessions to secure it. The netted catch of fish justified laboriously sorting it all out so that only those fish of value were kept. The disciples understood what Jesus was telling them.

Knowledge, an understanding mind and heart and wisdom are all gifts of God to all for the asking. ‘Ask and you shall receive’. Solomon is a good model – in listening in order to know, in the ability to understand and extract the implications of knowing and meaning, in order to act wisely.

Creator God deepen our thirst for the wisdom and knowledge of God.

Dominique Horgan OP

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  1. stephanie walsh Reply

    Very incisive & thought provoking – especially in relation to knowledge & understanding. Thanks for sharing those thoughts.

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