July 26: Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings: 1. 1 Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalm: 119P; 2. Romans 8:28-30; Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52.
These biblical authors have it in mind to start us thinking about the universal divine plan.
First of all, King Solomon guides us towards an appreciation for the role of wise discernment in our lives. His prayer to God reveals that he is very serious about the royal vocation he has inherited. And it is only with God’s help that he reckons he will be able to acquit his duties fittingly and justly. The task of making decisions is therefore a crucial part of his kingship. His respect for God and his royal responsibilities make him fit for the divine gift of a discerning mind.
Paul’s beautifully formulated expression of belief in God’s purpose for calling him and all believers extols the fact that, by faith, we have been blessed with the grace to know we are God’s children. In light of that, our lives are clearly ordered towards the goal God has revealed. And it is through our bond with the crucified, risen Lord that we are constantly reminded of our own call to love God and to profess the faith of the early Church.
The Matthean Gospel text indicates that the kingdom of heaven is a treasure of incomparable worth to us all. Jesus’ words about the kingdom help us see how we might gain the insight needed to discern our life vocation. Of prime importance in this respect is the last verse. For it is there that we hear about our calling as true disciples, that is being trained to participate in the revealing of the kingdom. And that demands a discerning heart, able to decide what is to be forever treasured.
The wisdom spoken to us through these Scriptures is perhaps not immediately obvious. But with careful reflection, it surely begins to reveal itself.