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Heavenly Father, give me a compassionate and wise heart

Heavenly Father, give me a compassionate and wise heart in whatever dealings I have with my brothers and sisters on our journey to You.

Heavenly Father, give me a compassionate and wise heart

Sunday July 26
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
1 Kgs. 3:5,7-12; Ps. 119(118):57,72,76-77,127-128,19-130;
Rom. 8:28-30; Mt. 13:44-52 or 44-46 (Ps Wk I)"

When I was studying Philosophy (the love of wisdom!) we had a great professor. At the beginning of each class, he slowly and reverently recited a prayer based on Solomon’s prayer for wisdom in the ninth chapter of the Book of Wisdom. Today’s prayer from the First Book of Kings is another version of the same prayer.

Solomon given the opportunity by God to ask for any gift of his choice, asked for Wisdom. For Solomon, Wisdom was a treasure above all other treasurers. Wisdom was worth a total investment of all our human energies and abilities.

Wisdom in the Old Testament, even if acquired after long years of study, was not primarily abstract or theoretical. It was directed towards making right choices in the conduct of our lives and in the service of others. Its foundation was the truth of God as revealed by the prophets and teachers He had appointed.

In today’s prayer Solomon asks for an understanding heart so that he can judge God’s people. “Judge” in this context means to rule or to guide or to lead. Maybe in his choice of the phrase “understanding heart” the writer of Kings is gently signaling potential rulers that a kindly and sympathetic attitude will enable them to guide their fellow men and women effectively even in their moments of weakness, doubt and need.

Heavenly Father, give me a compassionate and wise heart in whatever dealings I have with my brothers and sisters on our journey to You.

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