Wisdom’s Gift

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For 26 July 2020, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, based on 1 Kings 3:5, 7–12, Romans 8:28–30, Matthew 13:44–52

1 Kings 3:5, 7–12

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.”

And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”

  It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.

Romans 8:28–30

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Matthew 13:44–52

Jesus said to his disciples,   “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thomas McCarthy was born in 1953, and took the habit of the Order of Preachers in 1971. After post-graduate studies in Rome, after his priestly ordination, he taught theology (patristics and dogmatic theology) in the House of Studies of the Irish Province of the Order, as well as at Milltown Park in Dublin. From 1996 to 2002 he served as Secretary General of the Order, residing in Santa Sabina in Rome and serving first with Timothy Radcliffe and then Carlos Azpiroz Costa. After a sabbatical year, Thomas worked with Dominican Publications from 2003 to 2016, editing Religious Life Review. He served then as prior in the Irish Dominican priory in Rome, San Clemente, and now resides in the priory in his home city, Galway, where he assists in the chaplaincy work at the University. Thomas has directed choirs in different places and has worked since 1986 with RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, as commentator and translator for Papal events (notably at Christmas and Easter) and for broadcasts from different European cities of Eucharist on major occasions.