(1Kgs.3:5,7-12, Ps.119, Rom.8:28:30 & Matt. 13:44-52)
In the first reading of today taken from the third chapter of the Book of 1Kings, the Church presents us with the edifying prayer of Solomon. Solomon expresses his innermost heart desires and worries before the Lord.
It happens that, after Solomon was made a king in succession of his father David, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and urged him to ask for whatever he desires. Being mindful of his enormous responsibility as a king, to judge and rule over the people entrusts to his care, Solomon decides to ask God for a heart of Understanding and Discernment to enable him decipher what is good and what is evil in his governance. What a prayer point!
The scripture tells us that God was very much delighted with Solomon’s prayer, and that, since Solomon has requested for Understanding and Discernment heart, and not for long life and riches for himself nor ask for the life of his enemies, (as some people would ask for) God therefore, promises that He would give Solomon a heart of Understanding and Wisdom beyond measures and riches as well.
By this attitude Solomon leaves us a big example to emulate on how we should take up our office positions and appointment, be it religious, social or political positions. It is quite obvious that, what must have informed Solomon’s prayer point here was his lofty sense of duty and responsibility based on his love and regard for God who bestows him with such a noble and delicate office of being a king. Hence, Solomon’s heart was preoccupied with how he should rightly carry out before God, the responsibility entrusts to his care. Solomon believes that, it is only by the grace of Wisdom and Understanding would he be able to make proper discernment of what is evil or good in his governance and administrative decisions which his noble and delicate position requires.
When we are given any new office or responsibility or are called to any leadership position, do we really bother to bring that before God in prayers? And if we do, what would be our utmost heart desires and prayer point? Would we like Solomon pray for the grace of Wisdom and Discernment to enable us carry out our God-given responsibility the way it would be pleasing before God. Or would we rather, only ask for an enduring long life without end and limitless wealth, as well as request God to terminate the lives of all our enemies and rivals especially those who never wanted us to occupy such positions? Solomon has really taught us today on how to embrace our various leadership positions and statues with the responsibilities that go with it, as well as what we should preoccupy our hearts with.
Therefore, when God grants us any position or statues in life, we must preoccupy our hearts with how to serve God better in those positions which He allows us. For us to rule and lead properly in our various positions of authority and leadership, (both in the family and society at large), each and every one of us need the grace of Wisdom and Discernment heart. Like Solomon, we should be bothered on how to make proper administrative decisions and good judgments that would be pleasing before God and not just welcome every opinion and rush into actions without proper discernment.
In fact, in our everyday life as believers, we are all faced with the issues of discernment, choice and decision making from morning till night; Do I take this advice or do I leave it? Do I engage in this venture or do I dash it? Do I spend money on this or do I spend it on something else? Do I respond to this issue or do I disregard it completely. Do I talk or do I do keep silence? In all that, we really require the grace of Wisdom and proper Discernment to make rightful decisions and choices that would be pleasing to God.
Today’s gospel reading from Matt. 13:44-52, challenges us with a parable that urges us to pray for the Wisdom to enable us know what we are to give up in life as believers to enable us purchase “a field with a hidden treasure in it” or to purchase “a pearl of great price”. Indeed, we need Wisdom and Discernment to help us decipher and choose what really matters and endures for eternal life.
In conclusion, reflect today on the attitude you need to GIVE UP or DEVELOP to enable you be more faithful to the demands of the gospel message of Christ and his Kingdom? Knowing this, is like discovering a hidden treasure in a field or finding a precious pearl of great price. We really need the grace of wisdom to help us put our priorities right. And when you gain this grace you cannot but give God the first place in your life and allow His principles and values to determine your daily life decisions and choices.