In today’s first Mass reading from the Book of Kings, God appears to Solomon in a dream and says, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
This is a little like finding the lamp with the genie: “Your wish is my command. Ask anything.”
ANYTHING! What would you ask for?
It is so tempting to think small, to ask for things that satisfy our immediate material needs and causes of pain and anxiety. My current house has been on the market for a couple of months and we don’t yet have a buyer. Since we have already closed on the purchase of another one, this is no small source of anxiety for me. How tempting to say, “Lord, please, just let someone make an offer on my house today.”
But in our hearts, we know that that sort of wish would not be worthy of the gift God offered Solomon.
Solomon knew that. He doesn’t ask “for a long life for [himself], nor for riches, nor for the life of [his] enemies.” Instead, Solomon asks for wisdom: “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.”
I sat with the passage this morning, and with Solomon’s response. What would I ask for? My first thought, not surprisingly given the level of conflict in Gaza and elsewhere was for an end to conflict, an end to war and violence.
And for myself? What if I could wish for something for myself? I know the answer to that; it is part of my prayer often. Let me love more, Lord. Let me love like you.
What would you ask for?
P.S. In full disclosure, I do also pray that someone soon makes an offer to buy my house. 🙂