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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on I Kings 3:5, 7-12

 Okay, you’ve bought your Powerball ticket, and you’re checking the numbers.  Look at that!  You’ve got two of the numbers, wait, three, no, four, no five!  Your heart is racing as you check that all-important last number, and YES!  You’ve won the Powerball!  All your worries are over!  You’re a mega-millionaire!

Now you’re standing with your big oversized check, cameras flashing, lottery officials beaming, and the question you’ve dreamed about for years is finally addressed to you:  What are you going to do with all that money? 

And here’s your reply:  I want to purchase an understanding heart so that I might judge rightly and distinguish right from wrong.

Good answer.  An understanding heart.  A listening heart.  Isn’t that the pearl of greatest price?  There is no greater love than to truly listen to someone, no greater gift than to be truly heard.  Solomon could have asked for anything, and he asked for that.  A very good answer indeed.

Think back on the people in your life who were able to put aside their own agendas and really, really listen to you.  Those are the people who change lives and heal hearts.

Parents are the people whom I observe with the most finely-tuned ears.  Because they love their children so much they are able to truly hear them, truly “get” them.  They listen, as St. Benedict asked us all to listen, with the “ear of the heart”.

The ancients had a lovely understanding of the workings of the ear canal.  They assumed that there were tubes that ran from the ears to the heart, so that one could truly hear.  I want that ear surgery, and I’ll bet Jesus knows just how to perform it.

How is your “hearing”?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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