King Solomon asked the Lord for an understanding heart, that he might govern his people wisely. When we pray, are we asking the Lord for understanding? Most of us want to understand the Lord, we certainly ask for Him to tell us what we want to know…but do we seek to UNDERSTAND? Can we answer as the Apostles do to Christ’s question, “Do you understand all these things?”
This Week’s Mass Warm-Up!
Catechesis At Home – Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year A
The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
“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?”
The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this—
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches,
nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right—
I do as you requested.
I give you 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.”
Mass Readings are presented verbatim from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) web site in good faith according its guidelines and under the Fair Use doctrine for educational and commentary purposes. All Rights are reserved to the USCCB.
REFLECTION – An Understanding Heart
King Solomon asked the Lord for an understanding heart, that he might govern his people wisely. The Psalmist proclaims that “the revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130). And Jesus asks His apostles, if they “understand all these things”, and when they reply “Yes”, He praises them.
When we pray, are we asking the Lord for understanding? Most of us want to understand the Lord, we certainly ask for Him to tell us what we want to know…but do we seek to UNDERSTAND? Understanding is different from Knowledge or Wisdom. It is a separate gift of the Holy Spirit. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, pp. 208-209 helps us distinguish from both Knowledge and Wisdom:
Wisdom helps us to see the world from God’s viewpoint.
Knowledge directs us to a contemplation of the mystery of God and mysteries of the faith.
Understanding stimulates us to work on knowing ourselves as part of our growth in knowing God.
An understanding heart is open to the wisdom of God and knowing Him in a way that allows us to know ourselves as created in His image and likeness. An understanding heart is one that can distinguish between right and wrong. It is in this understanding that forms our conscience, and gives us the ability to follow Jesus to build the kingdom of God in our own families, parishes and communities.
DISCUSSION – Do you understand all these things?
Jesus asks the Apostles this question. Can we answer with confidence “yes” as they did? If we do not have that “yes”, then it is up to us to pray for and seek understanding. Discuss with your family what the Gospel message means to you, how do the metaphors of the kingdom of heaven apply to life today? And how can you find understanding if you do not understand at this time?
ACTIVITY – Seek Understanding
This week, find out what sort of studies, classes, groups, or resources your parish has to build knowledge and understanding in the faith. These may be the RCIA process, a Bible Study, an Adult Faith Formation class or series, subscriptions to various Catholic media or catechesis programs or any number of other programs. When you find out what your parish has available, sign up and attend one!
DIG DEEPER – Other Understanding resources from Holy Owned and Operated:
Page: Faith Formation
Video: Encountering Christ in Our Everyday Life
TWMWU: Celebrating the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
TWMWU: God’s Own Design
TWMWU: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Podcast Episode: Faith – Episode 50
Podcast Episode: Solidarity with the Church – Episode 132
Podcast Episode: The Immaculate Conception – Episode 125
How do you seek Understanding?
by Beth & Kristofer Cowles
Other Help on HOO
We are called to be perfect, as we discussed last week.
So, what does being on the road to perfection look like?
If Jesus was “finished” and his ministry was “completed,” as it means when He said, “It is done,” by saying, “It is perfected” just before He died on the Cross, He must have walked a road to perfection.
And so must we.
In this episode we discuss that concept, in terms of what we are doing and how we respond to the call for our life.
It’s a simple concept, and a difficult task, but we have the example of Our Lord which, from the proper perspective, is not an impossible example to follow and exemplify.