17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 30, 2017)

Today’s first reading gives us the origin of Solomon’s great wisdom: it comes from God as a gift in answer to Solomon’s humble prayer. God is pleased that his prayer is selfless - and he gives him far more than he requested.

This seems to be God’s habit with the humble.

In the Gospel, Jesus is encouraging us to ask for this gift of wisdom so that we will be able to discern what is really important when it comes to choosing how we will live as a member of the kingdom. Like the man who finds a treasure or the merchant who finds a valuable pearl, we must be willing to surrender all to be a part of the reign of God.

Our willingness to surrender our all will be based on the depth of our belief that “God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him.” God has called us to become the image of Jesus, and has already made this possible through His Son’s sacrificial death for us. Our final destiny is glorious because God has already made it so for us. Even now we have some taste of that glory in the midst of the trials and sufferings that are also a part of our calling.

As the Gospel reminds us, the reign of God is in process. The dragnet is collecting all kinds of things. We want to be found among the “worthwhile things” and not among the “useless” which will be thrown away.

Those who are learning as the reign of God unfolds must ask for the gift of wisdom, as Solomon did. Then we will have the insight needed to keep surrendering all as we continue toward the glory that God has prepared for us who are open to being transformed in the image of His Son.

Let us seek the gift of an understanding heart and use it well in all we say and do.