Year A: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 1 Kings 3: 5, 7-12
The Wisdom of Solomon became a by-word for what was needed to make difficult decisions. Today, we read how that gift was provided for him.
Solomon has inherited the king-ship from his father, David, but is all too aware of his inadequacies and fears that he may not be able to fulfil the role.
This preyed on his mind - even in sleep - and it is here that the Lord comes and asks what He can give him.
Solomon knows that he can ask for anything - but realises that the most important thing he needs to govern such a large nation is discernment: who to trust - where does truth lie - what is the right thing to do. He need to have clear-sighted discernment into good and evil - and so, this is what he asks for.
Needless to say, such an unselfish choice is pleasing to God. Solomon could have asked for power and wealth and victory in battle. These are, after all, the things that get kings into history books - very few kings are remembered for their wisdom and righteous government!
God gives Solomon a discerning judgement - a judgement that sees into people’s hearts and distinguishes between the good and the evil motives.
It was shown in decisions of state - and in decisions relating to disputes between individuals - and people were astonished by his insights.
Whilst the Wisdom of Solomon is legendary - the gifts of wisdom and right judgement are given to us too. They are gifts of the Spirit conferred on us - especially through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
They have been necessary throughout the whole of history - but, perhaps, even more so now. We too have to ensure that we discriminate between what is good and what is evil. We have to discern what is of the Kingdom and worth investing ourselves in - and what is likely only to lead to unhappiness.
They are not easy choices - sometimes, we too can need the wisdom of Solomon!
What does it mean for me?
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