The Scripture passages we hear today offer both a linear and a circular dimension that teach us about our own lives and our service to Almighty God. Solomon, although he is next in the lineage of kings, confesses “not knowing how to act” in the role he is about to assume. The parables of the buried treasure and the pearl of great price induce self-reflection and ask us look at where we stand now in our faith development in light of the future.
As I pray over these readings, I realize that my own ministry is coming full circle as I assume pastoral leadership at St. Joseph’s. After ordination in 1990, I served for three years as associate pastor of a small, rural parish in the southern tier of the Diocese and envisioned at that time continuing in parish ministry. God had other plans. Over the past twenty-seven years, I have been involved in academic pursuits at Catholic University of America and at Boston College, serving thereafter, respectively, in specialized ministries as a canon lawyer in the Diocesan Tribunal, and as psychotherapist and Director of Clinical Services at Catholic Charities New Hampshire. Solomon was a “mere youth … not knowing how to act,” but God gave him “a heart so wise and understanding.” At almost seventy years of age, I pray for the same blessing for however long my journey of praise and worship with you at St. Joseph’s Parish might last.
As a parish community, you are known throughout New Hampshire and beyond for your welcoming spirit and your prayerful generosity. Working and worshiping together, then, let us pray for the ability to see God in those we love and serve, and pray that our search for the Gospel pearl and treasure will, in turn, be guided by the light of God’s wisdom and grace so that we may become fully what we seek.