We hope you have had a good week.
Today’s Reflections follow from two of tomorrow’s readings – Solomon’s dialogue with God & two short parables about treasure. And the spirit in our lives. So something from Pope Francis & also an excerpt from one of Joyce Rupp’s books – ‘Constant Hope’. And another of John Rutter’s blessings: ‘Go forth into the World in Peace’.
Enjoy the weekend & please pray again for our sisters in Congo & Rwanda (& for a fine day tomorrow) – another Tea-box day – & the two days have raised well in excess of £3000 – so thanks again to all who involved themselves in any way.
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.” 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.
Matthew 13. 44 & 45.
‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Pope Francis reflects on the Wisdom of Solomon.
Wisdom, such as we see in Solomon, is a gift of the Spirit. It is not merely human wisdom. In the Bible we are told that, at the time of his coronation as king of Israel, God asked Solomon what gift he wanted to receive. Solomon did not ask for wealth, success, fame, or a long and happy life, instead he asked for “an understanding heart that knows how to distinguish good from evil” (1 Kings 3:9).
This is wisdom: it is the grace of being able to see everything with the eyes of God. It is simply this: seeing the world situations, conjunctures, problems, everything with God’s eyes. This is wisdom. Often we see things as we want to see them or according to our heart, with love, with hate, with envy – no, this is not seeing with God’s eyes. Wisdom is what the Holy Spirit does within us so that we can see everything with God’s eyes. This is the gift of wisdom.
This gift comes from intimacy with God. And the Holy Spirit – when we have this intimate relationship – gives us the gift of wisdom. When we are in communion with the Lord, it is as if the Spirit transfigures our heart and helps it to perceive all God’s warmth and predilection.
The Holy Spirit can make us “wise”. This is, however , not in the sense that we have an answer for everything, or know everything, but in the sense that we know God, how God acts, we begin to recognise when something is of God and when it is not. We begin to see people & things through God’s eyes. We even begin to see ourselves through God’s eyes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The two people we meet in the extract from the Gospel – the man who finds the treasure & the merchant who finds the pearl of great price, likewise recognise real value – what is really important. The Spirit helps us to discern what is of real value in God’s eyes & like Solomon we maybe we don’t ask for wealth, success, fame or a long & happy life but for the gifts of the spirit – discerned by seeing through God’s eyes.
The Guidance of Holy Wisdom
and the spirit
came to me.
“Pleaded” connotes a huge amount of humility. It implies that the options for self-determination and an inability to manage the situation alone have run out. Who of us likes to get down on our bumbling knees and implore Holy Wisdom for guidance? Pleading hints of “surrender” and who wants to totally give one’s self in trust to this invisible Counsellor? Our inclination leans toward being in charge, figuring things out by ourselves. This part of self, “the ego;’ seeks to be chief and master, locking us in our small world of security and power. Moving beyond this strong determination of the ego in order to receive Holy Wisdom’s guidance requires openness to that which may not always “make sense,” dreams and intuitive inclinations that are not easily explained. The spirit of Wisdom comes, not to put our plans in place according to our wants and desires, but to guide us toward what most grows us into holiness. Are we ready to plead for this? Are we ready to hand over our self to Holy Wisdom with trust that the way will be made known?