The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you.’ Solomon replied, ‘O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of this people of yours that you have chosen, a people so many its number cannot be counted or reckoned. Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, for who could govern this people of yours that is so great?’
It pleased the Lord that Solomon should have asked for this. ‘Since you have asked for this’ the Lord said ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you.’
1 Kings 3:5,7-12
First reading for 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Solomon is one of the tragic figures of the Old Testament – rich in wisdom and full of potential but he cannot sustain his faith and his love for the Lord is tainted and diluted as he gets drawn into other concerns. And following his reign, and the succession of his sons, the Kingdom is divided and fails…
Our first potential too may often enough be compromised and frittered away. But we can turn again to the Lord, and find in him a new way into communion with him. The Kingdom is the Lord’s and not ours – and he is ready always to welcome us in.
- Where better than Mass today to give thanks for that welcome, that constant love?
Stained glass. St Martins in the Bulling, Birmingham. (c) 2015, Allen Morris