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King Solomon's Treasure

I attended an Alpha spiritual retreat last weekend as part of my role on the Alpha leadership team of my parish. It was wonderful, as Alpha retreats generally are, and someone asked a really interesting question. “Why is it that we have to be broken to experience God?” 

First of all, do we really have to be broken?  

My instinct is to argue this is probably not the case, and that perfectly well-adjusted, accomplished and contented people experience the Holy Spirit. Yet, as the conversation continued, people shared that they had certainly felt broken when God found them, and that was the case for me, too. 

In the first reading from 1 Kings, Solomon is having a bit of a crisis. He is daunted by the responsibility of leadership and is clearly feeling overwhelmed. God visits him in a dream, and Solomon is granted precisely what he needs in the charism of divine wisdom.  

In no stretch of the imagination could we call Solomon ‘broken’. He was King, he was young, and newly married to the daughter of the King of Egypt. He was feeling ‘wobbly’ rather than ‘broken’, surely? 

Perhaps the real answer to the question lies in our tendency to wait until we are broken before we turn to God. As Jesus tells us, the treasure is there waiting to be found. It is there for everyone, all the time.  

Solomon already had some impressive smarts, if you ask me. He didn’t wait for his world to come crashing around him before he asked God for exactly what he needed. Let us follow his example and reach out for the Kingdom of God today. Now.

Today's Readings:   1 Kings 3:5,7-12     Psalm 118      Romans 8:28-30      Matthew 13: 44-52

Source: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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