Wise Heart

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Good morning. I’m writing this week’s reflection in the early hours of the morning in my office as fellow parishioners and I stay overnight with our guests from Family Promise (more on that next week).  I’m a little bleary-eyed, but it is nice to drink coffee in early light and read this week’s Mass readings.

A phrase that jumps out at me is in our first reading. It’s Solomon, King David’s son’s, beautiful and heart felt prayer. He asks for an understanding heart, not for riches or power, so God grants him a “heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.”

A “wise heart,” that’s a curious phrase.  The adjective “wise” is not normally thrown onto that humanly function.  I can see a “loving heart,” that would be closer, but a wise heart? It is like saying a “loving brain.” It sounds a little off. Yet, like most imagery found in the Bible, it sort of fits perfectly.

Solomon’s request for a reign built in love is no naïve request. Being a loving ruler isn’t about being a weak one—a push-over or appeaser. We know there is evil in this world, but we also know that like mercy, ruling with loving wisdom is a powerful thing. Solomon offered his prayer for a fruitful reign.  He gave his God-given gifts to God and God in return gave him even more!

This multiplying of gifts, starting with love, is where I think Paul gets his confidence up when he proclaims in the second reading, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” Blessings come from blessings, he seems to be saying, echoing Solomon’s gifts of wisdom and empathy. True empathy, feeling for others, that is the kingdom of heaven, that is the love of a parent, the skill of the great teacher, a friend’s hug, the neighbor’s visit, to quote our Lord, “the treasure, buried in the field.”

Have a blessed week.

I’ll be seeing you,


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