17th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-17; Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-46 ~ give us understanding hearts

17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening prayer:

God of eternal wisdom, You alone impart the gift of right judgement. Grant us an understanding heart, that we may value wisely the treasure of Your Kingdom and gladly forgo all lesser gifts to possess Your Kingdom’s incomparable joy. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Old testament: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-17 (NLT)

That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
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“Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

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The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies — I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have. And I will also give you what you did not ask for — riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”

Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he invited all his officials to a great banquet.

Some time later two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled. “Please, my lord,” one of them began, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house….”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130 (NLT)

Lord, you are mine! I promise to obey your words!
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Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.
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Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight.
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Truly, I love your commands more than gold, even the finest gold. Each of your commandments is right. That is why I hate every false way.
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Your laws are wonderful. No wonder I obey them! The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.
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Psalm 119:57-60 (1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter, Belmont)

Thou my sure portion art alone, which I did choose, O Lord:
I have resolved, and said, that I would keep thy holy word.

With my whole heart I did entreat thy face and favor free:
According to thy gracious word be merciful to me.

I thought upon my former ways, and did my life well try;
And to thy testimonies pure my feet then turned I.

I did not stay, nor linger long, as those that slothful are;
But hastily thy laws to keep myself I did prepare.
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A Reading from the Letters: Romans 8:28-30 (NLT)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
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Parable of the Hidden Treasure  Rembrandt (c. 1630)

Parable of the Hidden Treasure
Rembrandt (c. 1630)

A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 13:44-46 (NLT)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”
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Intercessions:

God of wisdom and love – hear our prayers:

+ That all believers may be inspired to continue along Your Kingdom’s  narrow path leading to the treasure that awaits them in eternity….
Lord, hear us.

+ That all those who govern nations may may seek God’s wisdom and administer justice as true servants of their people….
Lord, hear us.

+ That all who search for answers to their questions may receive the gift of true wisdom and understanding as revealed in the person of Christ….
Lord, hear us.

+ That those on pilgrimage to far off places may know the Lord’s presence and peace on their journey….
Lord, hear us.

+ That those who are visiting family and friends during this holiday season may experience love, joy, and peace….
Lord, hear us.

+ That those whose life on earth is over may realize the indescribable joy of heaven….
Lord, hear us.

+ That we may receive Your help in our times of trouble and difficulty, particularly for the needs that are on our hearts right now….
Lord, hear us.

God of wisdom and love, your will is wonderful indeed: hear our prayers and help us live by Your precepts, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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