The first book of the Kings presents us with God’s self– disclosure to Solomon who recently succeeded his father David as king of Israel. He was an inexperienced young man when God appeared to him in a dream to ask whatever favor he wanted. He did not ask for wealth or fame. He did not ask for long life or the life of his enemies. In his prayer he acknowledges God’s great goodness to his father David. He speaks honorably of his father’s piety who had walked before God in uprightness of heart, drawing a veil over his faults. He speaks more honorably of God’s goodness to his father, the mercy God had shown to him while he lived, in making him to be sincerely religious and then recompensing his sincerity and the great kindness he had kept for him, to be bestowed on the family when he was gone, in giving him a son to sit on his throne. He acknowledges his insufficiency for the discharge of that great trust to which he is called, and goes ahead to ask for wisdom to rule well as God’s servant. God was well pleased with Solomon’s prayer and gave him not only what he prayed for but also every other thing including riches and fame (1 Kings 3:5-13).
In our first reading today, the wise man of the Old Testament upholds Solomon as a great model in the search of wisdom. In his teaching, we can only acquire wisdom through prayer, in order to receive prudence and the spirit of wisdom. We should prefer her (Wisdom), to scepter and throne, and deem riches nothing in comparison with her. We should love her above all things (Wisdom 7:7-11).
St. Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is the Wisdom and Power of God. In the search of Wisdom, God first searches for humans and presents Himself. God’s initial offer of himself creates in the person the desire for God. This is what happens to us that in the search of wisdom or God himself, we detach ourselves from everything which is ungodly and search for him who is the ultimate, with all the means and resources that God has given to us. Jesus speaks about this process when he tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness and all other things will be added unto us. He also tells us to lay for ourselves treasures in heaven, where our treasure is, there our heart will be.
Today, Jesus speaks with a rich young man, who wanted to know what to do in order to share in everlasting life. In addition to keeping all the commandments, which he had been observing from childhood. Jesus offers him the precious gift of wisdom, calling him to discipleship. By this, he asked him to go and sell everything he had and give to the poor. In that way, he will then have treasure in heaven. After that to come and follow him. At these words of Jesus, the rich young man’s face fell, and he went away sad, because he had many possessions (Mark 10:17-30). This became a teaching moment for Jesus to instruct us about true discipleship, through his apostles. Discipleship requires detachment from worldly riches, and freedom of heart and mind, in order to follow the Lord. While it is impossible for humans, it is possible for God, because all things are possible with him. It is only through God’s grace that the apostles were able to give up everything to follow Jesus, for his sake and for the gospel.
Acquisition of wisdom or union with God is the goal of all discipleship. In our second reading today, we learn about the power and effectiveness of God’s living word, which is sharper than any two-edged sword. It judges the reflections and thoughts of the heart. Nothing is concealed from him; all lies bare and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account (Hebrews 4:12-13). Open to the power of God’s word, let us prayerfully respond to his call, choosing him and his ways, as true and perfect disciples. God reveals his call of us according to his own purpose, by enabling us to conform into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ. Like Solomon, let us pray that wisdom might be given to us, and to live in us always. May God make us perfect disciples of his Son, Jesus Christ and endow us with the gift of his wisdom, now and forever. Amen