Seventeenth Sunday of the Year
July 27, 2014
In todays’ Scripture we move deeper into what it is like to be about “the kingdom of heaven”. As a child, I spent much of my time during the summer months on my grandparents farm in northwest Iowa. I loved the farm and, after my daily chores, our dog Spike and I took off to explore our one hundred and sixty acres. Reading “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field…” Matthew 13:44, a vivid memory popped into my mind. Do you remember the small frozen orange juice cans that many of us bought which, added to water, gave us our vitamin C? I remember washing the lid of the empty can which was gold on one side, digging a hole under a fairly small bush at the side of the field and burying it. Then I hoped that someone would find my small treasure.
Treasures come in many different sizes and shapes, textures and colors and, every once in a while, we experience a very special treasure of the heart. I think that is what Solomon experienced when, in the first Book of Kings, he asked God for an understanding heart – the gift of being able to “stand under”, to hold the minds, spirit and hearts of those he would be asked to serve as king for years to come.
I also believe that this particular passage of Scripture from the First Book of Kings is the essence of the gift of discernment…being able to sift through “What is of God and what is from us, God’s beloved on the journey”? Our Holy Father Benedict had a great deal in common with Solomon, for he too was a man of deep understanding and great wisdom .
This picture of Benedict, which I entitle “Listening with the ear of the heart”, reflects our call as Benedictine monastics. We are called to join Solomon, Benedict, and all of our sisters and brothers to enter the silence, be still, listen and understand and then act.
Anne Stedman, OSB