In today’s First Reading from the First Book of Kings, we hear the story of how the Lord appeared to King Solomon in a dream. In the dream, God simply said,
“Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
Do you ever think for a moment what it would be like to have an encounter like this with God? Imagine God coming to you or me and saying that we can ask something of Him and He will give it to us. Have you ever thought about how you might respond? So many things come to mind that I shudder to think of what I might say! Dear Lord, please heal my loved ones…or please increase vocations or send us virtuous and courageous Church and world leaders…or help my friend or loved one who is struggling…or help me to do your will and grow in holiness. Or would I ask those questions that sometimes come to mind, “Is my loved one in Heaven…or will they be when they die? Will I make it to Heaven? Am I on the right track and am I truly doing Your will, Lord? What does my future hold?” I could go on and on and I imagine you could, too!
Some may ask for money to help care for family and friends or power to help right the wrongs of the world. All of these are good things in and of themselves, but do they give honor and glory to God, or would they be deemed too worldly? Might it be too bold to ask God for these things?
Let us look at King Solomon’s response to God in his dream:
O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father, David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”
What incredible humility! King Solomon immediately recognized his limitations and humbled himself before the Lord. He acknowledged that he was young and had no idea how to act. In a second, perhaps more profound act of humility, Solomon asks the Lord for an understanding heart to judge His people and distinguish right from wrong so that he would be able to appropriately govern God’s people.
As with Solomon, God desires to give us what He knows is good for us and for the world. Because Solomon humbled himself before the Lord and asked for the good, true and beautiful; rather than riches, power and wealth, the Lord was greatly pleased and granted him the great gift of understanding what is right, as well as “…a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.”
The gift of Solomon’s wisdom was not merely intellectual prowess but a deep understanding of human nature and the ways of God. It allowed him to navigate complex situations, provide wise counsel, and make sound decisions that brought prosperity and harmony to the kingdom of Israel. Now let us imagine the same happening in our Church and our world today. And not only imagine it, but boldly and humbly, with the faith of Solomon, ask for it and trust that God will hear and answer our prayers!
Colleen M. Donohoe was born and raised just North of Boston, the youngest of 7 children. She is the proud “Auntie” to 17 nieces and nephews and 5 great nieces and nephews who bring tremendous joy to her life! For the past 25 years, Colleen has served in a variety of roles in the Archdiocese of Boston, primarily as a Catholic Educator. After spending many years as a theology teacher and campus minister, she currently serves as the Associate Superintendent of Catholic Identity and Respect Life Educator for the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools. It is a great honor and blessing for Colleen to continue little Christina Dangond’s legacy to “Build the Faith” wherever and however God calls.