Fr. Arthur Reflects on “True Wisdom”
My brothers and sisters, in today’s readings we hear about one main topic: wisdom. The wisdom about which Scripture speaks is not something that a person can buy with money. It is also not something that is guaranteed by age. There is the known saying: “With age comes wisdom,” meaning that the older we get, the wiser we become. Perhaps this statement is true, or perhaps it is not.
True wisdom is not necessarily something that we gain as we age. Wisdom is not a matter of good will or even a person’s special aptitude for it. Rather, true wisdom is a gift from God—a gift from the Holy Spirit. As we see from the first reading from the First Book of Kings, God gives the gift of wisdom to each person who seeks to follow the right way, even in the midst of joys and difficulties, suffering and pain. God bestows the gift of wisdom on those who humbly ask for it, as Solomon asked for the gift of an understanding of heart to judge and distinguish between right and wrong.
God was pleased with Solomon’s request because Solomon did not ask for the gifts of the world, such as the gift to live a long life, to have riches, to get revenge. Instead, Solomon asked for the gift to distinguish between God’s ways—the ways that lead to Heaven—and the ways of the world. Solomon asked God for the gift to know God—to know what is pleasing to God.
In this way, Solomon asked for the gift that would ultimately lead him to the Kingdom of God, meaning Heaven or union with God. And how did God respond? God gave Solomon everything. Solomon asked only for understanding and wisdom, and God gave him wisdom along with everything else: riches, fame, and a long life on the earth.
In today’s Gospel we heard about two images to describe the Kingdom of Heaven: a treasure and a pearl of great price. What is the Kingdom of God, other than God Himself? My brothers and sisters, can you imagine? The person of the Gospel must have been crazy with joy upon discovering God—so much so that he or she was ready to sell everything to obtain Him, to be with Him. Solomon must have been crazy with joy for God; for he was ready to give up riches, fame, and a long life, to have wisdom in order to know God.
My brothers and sisters, God is coming to you and telling each one of you: “Ask something of Me and I will give it to you.” Each day He asks us this question. Each day we are called as Christians to respond. I would like to invite each of you to reflect on how you respond to God’s request. What do you ask God for in your daily lives? Do you ask Him for wisdom or for your sanctification? Or do you ask him for riches, for fame, for intelligence, for a long life?
Do not be afraid of your answer to this question. For, my brothers and sisters, part of wisdom is discovering who we are—discovering that God Loves us as we are, with all of the truth about us. On our part, all that God calls us to do is imitate Solomon, who acknowledged his weakness as a “mere youth,” by standing in the truth and awaiting everything from Him.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Artur Marat
Readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 109Tags: #arturmarat, #homily, #olw, #olwparish