The mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice. He shall defend the afflicted among the people, save the children of the poor, and crush the oppressor. Justice shall flower in his days and profound peace, till the moon be no more. May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. Psalm 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, was the second king of an ancient united Israel. We often think of wisdom in connection with Solomon. When God offered to give him anything, he chose the gift of an understanding heart over riches and a long life. That was certainly a good choice, and God was so pleased that He granted Solomon many other gifts as well. Often the story of the two women who both claimed to be the mother of a baby is used to illustrate Solomon’s wisdom. He settles the argument by saying he will cut the baby in two. The real mother is revealed when she wants, above all else, to save the baby’s life.
Solomon reigned wisely, ensuring that the nation prospered in peace. During his reign, he was able to build the temple in Jerusalem which, unlike other temples of the day, housed no idols. It was dedicated to the one and only God.
Note that today’s Responsorial Psalm is attributed to Solomon, written at a time when he is taking over for his dying father, King David. He is praying for a just and peaceful reign during his lifetime.
We can pray this Psalm for encouragement as well, since the Psalm foretells the coming of the Messiah and His Kingdom of justice and peace. While we look to the final coming of Jesus in glory, we know He has already come in history and is present in our lives now. How graced we are, even more blessed than Solomon, to be living in the reign of Our Lord!
As we look to our just King, Jesus, we see He cares deeply about everyone, especially the poor, the needy, the afflicted, and all who suffer. As we are united with Jesus through His grace, we share in His kingship as well. We are His sons and daughters and can, like Solomon, be wise by using our gifts for justice and peace.
Solomon is our nineteenth Ornament of Grace.
Observing the Beautiful Ornaments
How can you best help others—through prayer, through sharing information via social media, by giving time to shelter the homeless or by feeding the hungry—or other ways?
How can Scripture and reflection help you to know how to use your gifts wisely?