17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The first reading today from the Book of Kings and the gospel reading from Saint Matthew are linked by the necessity to be wise as missionary disciples seeking the treasures God wishes us to discover. Even those of us who have only a cursory acquaintance with the story of Solomon will have heard the expression “the wisdom of Solomon,” a reference to Solomon’s choice of an understanding heart when God offered to grant him whatever he wished for. Having an understanding heart means being able to discern between good and evil, between wise choices and bad ones.
Both readings today urge us to be wise in our seeking, for what is at stake is the pathway to the Kingdom of God. Finding that pathway is compared to one man finding a hidden treasure and another a pearl of great price. Both require risking everything to possess them. Matthew is addressing his gospel to the community in Antioch, who have found in the preaching of the Kingdom such a treasure that it has been worth giving up everything else to have it.
Perhaps Jesus is asking us if we understand all these things. With the disciples, we can say “Yes’ when we can bring from our own storerooms both the old and the new, the Law and the Prophets of old, and the precious treasure of the good news of the Kingdom. Solomon asked God for an understanding heart, a heart that discerns what truly matters, a heart that is governed by wisdom. Jesus calls us to be single-minded and ready to risk all wisely for a place in his Kingdom.
Let Us Pray:
May the Spirit of God gift us with the wisdom to discern the true path to kingdom living. Amen.