Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings

1KGS 3:5, 7-12
ROM 8: 28-30
MT13: 44-52

Reflection

In this Sunday’s readings, God grants Solomon one request, to which he asks for wisdom. Solomon only wants discernment, that he might be fit to govern God’s people. This request not only exemplifies the wisdom of Solomon in that moment, but also his selflessness and concern for his people. Wisdom is the lens of self-giving love which Solomon strives for.

And through this lens, one can see the infinite value in another person, a value which flows from the image of God in each of us. It is through the acceptance and acknowledgement of this image of the Son in everyone that one becomes a part of the Body of Christ; an individual with many brothers and sisters. The second reading discusses this union, for which all things work because of the love of God. This passage does not dismiss the hardships of a fallen world, but rather embodies hope beyond them.

            The Gospel reading describes this hope beyond as something of great worth, that which a person commits the whole self to. A perfect unity grounded in love between brothers, sisters, and God. The love we share now, in the rare moments of perfection, is a glimpse into the kingdom of God.

            In practice, I have discovered that our faith of love seeks communion. In my life, I have begun to volunteer at the Bayside Community Center, where I help with the farmer’s market. This process started out as an optional assignment in a theology class with Dr. Mark Peters, yet grew into a fellowship with others. Often a nearby vendor named Jeff and I will tell each other jokes and check in with how everyone’s family is doing. Amy runs the garden so she will drop by with her dry humor and liven things. My supervisor, Kim Heinle, leads with a cheerful optimism. And while selling produce to the locals of Linda Vista is no extravagant expression, the love I have found there in talking with the people has inspired me to continue volunteering.

More recently, I was confirmed this last May. My confirmation in college (albeit somewhat later than usual) has been a transformative time in my understanding of my faith. Through these two experiences, I have learned that the love of God extends well beyond comfort zones. My encouragement to others is to adhere to this love as it traverses those comfort zones – for the love of God, where ever it is found, is truly a treasure.

- Jordan Castro, ‘19