Reflection for 17th Sunday of the Year (A)…
1 Kings 3:5,7-12
Importance of change…
The readings today all speak of gifts received from God. Solomon gets the gift of wisdom. St Paul, writing to the Romans, speaks of the gift of justification which transforms us and St Matthew points us towards great gifts or rewards for those who seek the Kingdom.
Each of us in our own lives uses our knowledge of the past and our own experience to help us deal with the present and prepare for the future. We know life does not stand still, that things change, and change rapidly. We are challenged to prepare for, accept and cope with these changes. And we do.
Although the Church too is changing, it is good to know that its basic doctrine always remains the same. It is a constant guide for us in our lives. But other parts of the Church do change – its music, its art, its liturgy, theology, its insights into scripture etc. These can be difficult to accept but we are challenged to do so.
So, we look to the past, look to tradition for help. We pray, as Solomon did for wisdom to see the good in the new and how it blends in with the old or traditional. We seek justification as St Paul did to transform us into images of the Son so that we can always know what is right. We look for the gifts, the rewards that we have never had before – as those in the gospel did – knowing that looking at the new ways in the Church, its new ideas, ideals, wisdoms and insights, that change can be good, can teach us new ways, can change our lives for the better and enrich our lives with fresh thinking which is inspired and enriched by tradition.
– Fr Paul D’Arcy SMA
Blackrock Road, Cork