A Reflection on the Readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 30, 2023
In today’s first reading, God appears to Solomon in a dream, saying He will give him anything Solomon asks for. Solomon answers God in a fascinating way. Solomon recognizes where God has put him, a king over God’s people. Yet, he knows what he’s lacking in his character. And what he lacks is what he asks from God – wisdom. God was pleased with that, as Solomon didn’t ask for things of the world – long life, riches or death to his enemies.
If I were in the same position, I know what I would consider. I would start by looking at all the problems in my life. And money immediately comes to mind as the universally touted problem-solver (the quickest fixer upper, right?). Secondly, I would consider asking for time. Ah, to have more time. Time to clean, fix things around the house, spend with my husband and kids, enjoy a movie or book, draw. Lastly, although I wouldn’t wish for death to my enemies, I do equate that idea with security and safety. Ask any other mom whose child has autism how important keeping their child safe is to them.
And yet, if God would grant me more money, time or safety…would that serve to get me closer to knowing and loving Him? Would having more serve my soul and eternal life? Would it prepare me for the next life?
While reflecting on this, I remembered something somebody told me the other day that made me uncomfortable. If we run around doing things all day, and save only a little time for God, we are going to be quite unprepared for eternity with Him. I’m not sure exactly what Heaven will be like, but know that we will be completely blissful in praising and loving Him forever. But how will I be ready to enjoy His presence then, if I haven’t devoted all the time I am able to enjoying his presence now? How will I know Him? Is 10 minutes of prayer each day and mass once a week enough to sustain a relationship with anyone, let alone God? And it is in this I find what I am lacking in my own character.
I love that Solomon responded to God by taking an honest look at himself and what he needed to serve God the best that he could. He didn’t ask God to add more of something to enrich his own life, but identified what he was lacking in the position he was given in order to serve God better. Clearly, money, time and security would seem to be nice in this life, but those things won’t last forever. This life doesn’t last forever. My prayer for myself and you is that we take an honest look at ourselves, see what it is that we are lacking so that we can ask God for it, to better serve Him, love Him, and find ourselves more prepared to spend eternity to be with the One who loves us most.