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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Reflection 2020-07-26 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Kings 3:5-12; Psalm 119; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52
In the First Reading, God asked Solomon what he wanted and God will give it to him. Solomon asked for: an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil, for who can govern your great people? We normally equate this to wisdom so we can define wisdom as an understanding mind, able to discern good and evil. When we look at Genesis 3, the account of the Original sin, we see this also was the desire of Adam and Eve: to know good and evil. The difference between them and Solomon is Solomon asked God for it, so the desire of Solomon was to see what is good and evil from the eyes of God. Adam and Eve however, wanted to take it from God. They wanted to define what is good and evil and rejected God’s perspective of good and evil. The simplest definition then of wisdom is to have God’s perspective.
This is why St Paul said in the Second Reading: we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. During these days, many still cannot comprehend what has happened to their lives. We may wonder: why me? St John Paul II wrote that animals feel pain but only the human being asks why. Asking why is a human reaction. While asking why is a human reaction, we need to go further than asking to question. Rather than searching for the answer, we search for the God who is the Answer.
In the first parable in the Gospel today, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure in a field. The one who finds it hides it, sells everything and buys the land. Jesus is telling us how much we have to give to search for God: everything!
When we search for God, we do not compromise. There is no middle ground when it comes to our relationship with God: it is all or nothing. The parable of the fish in today’s Gospel shows us how we will be judged. The fish in the nets will be separated. The good will be put into baskets and the bad will be thrown away. How are the good fish differentiated from the bad fish? The Hebrew word for good means something that functions as it should. The Hebrew word for bad therefore, something that does not function as it should.
When our time comes to stand before the Lord in judgment, we will be judged whether we fulfilled God’s purpose for us, or whether we did not fulfill his purpose for us. This is why, when we seek God, we need to give everything by opening our hearts to him and letting him do what he wants with us, so we can fulfill what he has planned for us.
What is God’s purpose for us? St Paul said in Ephesians 1, that before the foundation of the world, God has willed that we stand before him holy and unspotted in his sight. We stand holy and unspotted before him when we do his will.
The sad thing about Solomon is despite his wisdom, in his old age, he allowed his hundreds of wives and concubines to control him and lead the people away from God. God had a plan for Solomon, but Solomon did not fulfill that plan. So despite his wisdom, he still did evil in the sight of God.
Do you want God to fulfill what he planned for you? Surrender your life to the Lord. The only thing that will happen when you do this, is you will fulfill your purpose in life. If you are searching for purpose or meaning in life, the only way to achieve this is to tell Jesus to do as he wills for your life. This is the way to a fulfilled life, to the life God wants you to have.
Lord, give me wisdom to see from your perspective. Give me wisdom to discern your will. Here I am Lord. I may not understand my situation, but Lord, I trust you have only the best for me. You created me for a purpose. Fulfill that purpose. Come and do to me as you will.

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