Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2017
In the first reading of this Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are challenged with a very important part of our life’s daily activities - How do we ask what we need? In a very particular case, how do we ask or pray to God for our needs and what should be our attitude? Must our needs be answered? If we did not get what we are asking from God? Does it suggest that God doesn’t listen or does he not want to give us what we are asking or that he does not love us? These are questions that encounter Solomon and God presents to you and me this Sunday. I guess this is a powered loaded theological reflection!
Let’s get started. In the first reading from the book of First Kings, “The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, "Ask something of me and I will give it to you." Solomon answered: "O Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” What an excellent but a humble way to get to the heart of God.
There was a great Greek Philosopher called Socrates. This ancient most revered intellectual was told that “He was the most knowledgeable man ever.” He replied, “I believe that I do not know, so that I may know.” Profound! Wasn’t it? His response did not only silence his admirers, but helped them to be ever disposed to learn. Solomon, one of the greatest and youngest Kings to have ruled the Israelites presented to us the model of prayer and how we are to ask God for our needs: not too many words; not too many demands; not anxious and ambitious of life, but simply a humble and contrite heart before our Lord, our God. He knows our needs before we even ask; he knows that we don’t need what we want when he does not give it to us. Would it not be wise and prudent if we could adopt this attitude towards prayer? Think about it!
Father Uche Obikwelu