The Gospel according to Matthew (12:38-42)
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment, the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.”
Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, please guide my prayer and my study so that Your wisdom and Your very Self will be bestowed upon me. Jesus, I trust in You.
Encountering Christ: We all have been in the situation where we weren’t sure of someone or we pre-judged someone. I am not only referring to a celebrity, or an athlete, or a politician (HA!), but possibly an ordinary person such as you and I. But it wasn’t until you heard them speak about their beliefs that you started to like that person and you actually admired them. Or you were in the same social group as someone else and you prematurely passed negative judgement about that someone. Only to find out later that you and that someone believe in the same things and became good friends.
In this passage, Jesus refers to the Queen of Sheba who traveled about 1,400 miles from Southern Arabia to meet King Solomon. The queen had heard much about Solomon, about his wealth and wisdom, and wanted to find out if all that she heard was true. So, she made the long journey and stayed with him for about six months according to tradition. After spending time with him, she was greatly impressed and bestowed upon him gifts of gold, spices, and precious stones. She said to him, “I did not believe the report until I came and saw with my own eyes that not even the half had been told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report I heard” (1Kings 10:7).
In our own lives, the witness of the Queen of Sheba should be a source of true inspiration. She was someone who was powerful and wealthy herself, and yet she wanted to learn from Solomon and to benefit from his great wisdom which was given him by God. She should inspire us to do all we can to daily turn to our Lord and to seek His wisdom.
Jesus’s wisdom flows to us in many ways. The Gospels are especially important as a source of the most important lessons for life. Personal prayer, reading about the lives of the saints, and study of the teachings of our Church are also essential ways in which we receive the wisdom given to us by God. As you think about the many ways that are available to you to grow in the wisdom of God, try to use the Queen of Sheba as an inspiration. Do you have her same zeal? Are you willing to devote much time and effort to the pursuit of holy learning? Do you desire to journey to Jesus in the way that she desired to journey to Solomon?
Jesus is infinitely greater and wiser than Solomon, and we have been given full access to Him through prayer and holy learning. If you will make that holy journey to our Lord, with much determination, then unlike the scribes and Pharisees, your day of judgment will be a glorious one.
Closing Prayer: My Lord of all Wisdom, You are infinitely greater than the wisest of kings and more glorious than anything I can imagine. Please fill me with zeal, dear Lord, so that I will fervently pursue You and daily journey to You.
Action of the Day: Reflect upon the long journey made by this queen in pursuit of the wisdom of Solomon. As you do, examine whether you exhibit the same zeal that she had and how devoted you are to the pursuit of the wisdom of God. Where are you lacking?