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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: February 6, 2016
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached the following homily at Christ the King Church in Little Rock on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. It is based on the readings for Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Cycle II. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle was a speaker at the conference.
Probably all of us have fantasized at one time or another about what we would ask for if we could get anything we wanted. A house we can't presently afford? Some accomplishment? Winning the
Usually when we engage in such fantasies, we focus on something that we think will lead to an improvement in our own circumstances, for instance our material wellbeing and that of our family, or our own security or our own personal success.
In today's first reading from the first boo
"Solomon has a lot to teach us today because we too have responsibility toward others — you as husbands and fathers; I and Archbishop Sartain as bishops. Yet it is often hard to know what to do in the concrete situations we face."
And Solomon's answer surprises us in two ways: 1.) Instead of asking for something that will lead to an improvement in his own personal circumstances, he asks for an understanding heart; and, 2.) The reason he requests this is to be able to benefit others: "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?"
He recognizes his responsibility as king and his inability to fulfill this responsibility without God's help.
Solomon has a lot to teach us today because we too have responsibility toward others — you as husbands and fathers; I and Archbishop Sartain as bishops. Yet it is often hard to know what to do in the concrete situations we face.
You husbands need an understanding heart when things come up in your marriage. My dad's premarital advice to my brothers was always, "be kind, no matter what, be kind!" You fathers need an understanding heart to know the right way to deal with each child, given that child's own specific temperament and needs.
And we bishops need an understanding heart to "govern wisely this vast people of ours!" It is sometimes hard to discern well what is best for others or even for ourselves. So as we begin this conference, let us make this request of Solomon our own: "Give your servant an understanding heart."