1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, Ask something of me and I will give it to you. Solomon answered: O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours? The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request. So God said to him: Because you have asked for this-not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right-I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.
Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.
Gospel Cycle Cycle A
Jesus said to his disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Do you understand all these things? They answered, Yes. And he replied, Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.
Wisdom is not something that most of us can claim. Wisdom in the Old Testament, in the Hebrew Scriptures after the return from exile, usually means the capacity to achieve one’s goals by using the right methods or means. This type of wisdom is not so much about intellectual capacity but about from experience and becomes more profound with age. If we begin to think about religious wisdom, then it is a matter of living the life given us by God and using the same levels of energy for that purpose that others would use, for example, in business.
The first reading today, from the First Book of Kings, speaks about King Solomon asking for wisdom: an understanding heart, a heart that knows right from wrong. What a gift such a heart is in a family or in a community!
For us, the followers of Jesus, the wisdom we seek is the Kingdom of God. We ask for an understanding heart, a heart that knows what helps us live more profoundly in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is very clear: the Kingdom of Heaven is a treasure. We need to be able to put all of our energies into seeking the Kingdom of Heaven. In order to do that, we must realize in our own hearts how important and how wonderful this Kingdom of Heaven is. To live in the kingdom is to live with the wisdom of God in this world. Far too often we use all of our energies to acquire worldly wisdom and knowledge and forget that there is a whole different existence that is ours in Christ Jesus.
Living in the Kingdom will not bring us the riches of this world or any comfort in this world—and that is why we often stay away from striving to live in the Kingdom. It does bring us a knowledge of God and of the ways of God and it gives an incredibly different and wonderful meaning to our daily life, whether we are rich or poor, whether have lots of goods or no goods at our disposal.
Living in the Kingdom is about learning to love and to live our life for love of God and in the service of others. The second reading, from the Letter to the Romans, tells us that all things work for good for those who love God. Working for good in our own lives does not mean worldly success.
It is only possible to begin to understand the following of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the good that comes about by beginning to walk with the Lord. This walking with God seems foolishness to many, but to those who have come to know the Lord, life becomes and incredible delight as we grow in the love and knowledge of God! May we walk in the light of the Lord.