Scripture reflections – Sunday, July 24th

1Kgs 3:5, 7-12; Rom 8:28-30; Mt 13: 44-52

Just imagine it.  There you are, standing on the beach, and Aladin’s lamp washes ashore.  You rub the lamp and out pops the genie offering you one free wish. (First he explains to you that, in these tough economic times, he’s had to cut down from three.)  What would you wish for?

I’ll give you a moment to think about that……..

OK, show of cyberhands.  How many of you would have wished for Wisdom?  That’s what Solomon asks for in the first reading: “Give your servant, therefore an understanding heart.”  Keep in mind that in the ancient world, the heart was understood to be the seat of personality – the essential “youness” of you.  Wisdom is very much connected to understanding; the wise person not only possesses knowledge about a given situation or person but is able to perceive which pieces of that knowledge are important at that particular time.   I knew a lot of facts about my son that night he had trouble falling asleep at the beginning of first grade, and had a head loaded with theories from parenting books about how best to handle the situation but, on that particular night at least, received the grace of wisdom to put all of that aside and simply ask a question:  “What happened today?”

If we are truly wise, then we can see the potential in the mustard seed and we will notice the pearl of great price hidden among the rest.   We sense what is just below the surface like the buried treasure, the miracles about to burst into being.  We understand that when the heart and the head are in conflict that its’ best to turn it all over to the Spirit. Heck, it’s best to do that from the beginning.

That Solomon guy was pretty smart – for a king.

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

(To read book length versions of my reflections on scripture, go to

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