First Reading 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you’. Solomon replied, ‘O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of this people of yours that you have chosen, a people so many its number cannot be counted or reckoned. Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, for who could govern this people of yours that is so great?’ It pleased the Lord that Solomon should have asked for this. ‘Since you have asked for this’ the Lord said ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as non before you has had and none will have after you’. The Word of the Lord
R/ Lord, how I love your law?
My part, I have resolved, O Lord, is to obey your word. The law from your mouth means more to me than silver and gold. R/
Let your love be ready to console me by your promise to your servant. Let your love come and I shall live for your law is my delight. R/
That is why I love your commands more than finest gold, why I rule my life by your precepts, and hate false ways. R/
Your will is wonderful indeed; therefore I obey it. The unfolding of your word gives light and teaches the simple. R/
Second Reading Romans 8:28-30
We know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory. The Word of the Lord
Gospel Matthew 13:44-52
Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field. ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it. ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. ‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes’. And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old’.
PROMPTS FOR FAITH-SHARING
In the first reading, when God invites Solomon to ask him for anything, Solomon asks for an understanding heart. Which gift of the Holy Spirit or virtue are you most in need of right now in your life?
The psalmist sings, ‘The unfolding of your word gives light’. How was the word of God been a light to show you the way?
St Paul writes to the Romans that we are to become ‘true images of (God’s) Son’. What attributes of Jesus do you find the easiest (or the hardest) to emulate?
Considering the parables of the precious pearl and the hidden treasure, what do you think Jesus wants us to know about the kingdom of God?