Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 26, 2020

Reflection

Even economists concede that wants will always be more than the needs. The human heart is always hungry for something but ultimately each heart is only looking for that ultimate happiness and fulfillment. To test Solomon’s heart, the Lord asked the young king what is his deepest drive. The young Solomon pleased the Lord by asking for understanding, that is, to see things from God’s perspective so as to rule the chosen people with justice and wisdom.


This vision of a society ruled by the justice and wisdom of God is the precursor of the Kingdom envisioned by Jesus Christ. Jesus was not a politician nor was he driven by a Utopian vision for Israel. He envisioned a nation of believers who have subjected their hearts to the Will of God, and this he called the Kingdom of God. More than a politics nor a social structure, the Kingdom of God is a relationship between God and a community of believers.


At the heart of this relationship is the Will of God, or the commands of God or law of His mouth as the psalm would describe. God’s will is not imposed on people but rather is followed out of love because of its kindness and compassion. It is a will that seizes the human heart just as the parables of Jesus described. It suspends all wants because it fulfills all needs. God satisfies all human desires and when man truly finds God he seeks nothing else.


St. Paul in our readings remind the early Christians and us, that it is in Jesus that we see this perfect relationship. Jesus is fully taken up with the Will of his Father. He seeks nothing else but to share this relationship with his disciples. The Son, being firstborn, seeks to make sons and daughters out of our rebellious hearts. In him we share this destiny.

First Reading

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.”


Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130

R. (97a) Lord, I love your commands.


I have said, O LORD, that my part

is to keep your words.

The law of your mouth is to me more precious

than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

R. Lord, I love your commands.


Let your kindness comfort me

according to your promise to your servants.

Let your compassion come to me that I may live,

for your law is my delight.

R. Lord, I love your commands.


For I love your command

more than gold, however fine.

For in all your precepts I go forward;

every false way I hate.

R. Lord, I love your commands.


Wonderful are your decrees;

therefore I observe them.

The revelation of your words sheds light,

giving understanding to the simple.

R. Lord, I love your commands.

Second Reading

Romans 8:28-30

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.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:44-52.


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.”



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