July 27: 17th Sunday of Year: Readings: 1. 1
Kings 3:5, 7-12; Psalm 119P; 2. Romans 8:28-
30; Gospel, Matthew 13:44-52.

by Fr Kevin Waldie, SM
Taking a lead from our first reading today’s Scriptures would have us ponder the wisdom needed if we are to make spiritual progress in this life.
First then, in 1 Kings, we hear of King Solomon’s special relationship with God. Solomon knows that he cannot fulfil his royal mission without divine assistance.
So what he asks from God is the wisdom or understanding to know the best way he should serve the people God has entrusted to his care. Being of this frame of mind is Solomon’s only desire.
Paul knows this kind of thinking, as well. His advice to the Romans dwells on understanding what marks out or characterises the Church’s members. Christian believers must know that they are called to love God and as a consequence work together for God’s glory. And in that mission
people are to become agents for change, transformed by the mystery that is the love of God for us. That love finds its model in the life and death of Jesus.
In Matthew, Jesus proposes a number of comparisons that suggest how we might better understand the much used phrase “the kingdom of heaven”. This sequence of parables is compiled therefore to open up to us a form of knowledge that is found in God and becomes ours; for example, through quiet reflection on the sayings that are gathered together in these verses.
Each of these relatively brief sayings aims to offer a message that can be quickly picked up. Their wisdom is further revealed and given emphasis by introducing the idea that “the kingdom of heaven” is a precious gift that needs to be savoured and prized.
No one can hear all three readings today and not be caught up in wonder at what they reveal in their simple but beautiful way.