Day 150: The Dedication of the Temple

1 Kings 8:10-61 In his prayer of dedication, Solomon recalled all that God had done for the Chosen People, from delivering them from slavery in Egypt to his numerous covenants and his perennial access to them. On behalf of all the people of Israel, past, present, and future, Solomon beseeched the Lord to forgive them their sins and to supply their daily needs. He asked that this special favor and protection serve as proof to the world that he is the one true God, and that Israel was his Chosen People. The Temple, as the center of worship for all Israel, became the key site of prayer and sacrifices of supplication from his people. (CCC 2580-2581)

Ch 8:10-12 The presence of the Holy Spirit was manifest in both cloud and light. These joint events were a sign of God’s immanent presence and transcendence, his self-revelation (light) and his mystery (darkness). (CCC 697)

Ch 8:54-55 Solomon changed his physical posture of worship as the focus of his prayer shifted. Up to this point, he had prayed on his knees with his arms extended in a gesture of petition to God. Now he stood to give a blessing to the people of God. Postures are integral to the liturgy and helpful in our private devotion. Ideally, our external posture and appearance should reflect our interior dispositions and the nature of our prayer. (CCC 2702-2703)

Ch 8:56-61 Solomon’s final blessing over the people acknowledged that the Temple’s completion was the fulfillment of a promise that God had made with the Chosen People through Moses. Our faith and trust in God is founded upon God’s infinite love for us and our acknowledgement that he is the Lord of history. For this reason, we offer him our prayers of praise, thanksgiving, contrition, and supplication. 

Incline our hearts to him: Solomon prayed that the people of Israel might always seek and be faithful to the will of God. (CCC 2699, 2738)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 The seasons connected with life and time are strictly established by God, and it is up to us to discern the proper season. (CCC 2828)

Ch 3:8 A time for war...peace: Some forms of pacifism are a legitimate principle for a Christian to hold for which there is sufficient support in Scripture. Nevertheless, the Church recognizes that there could be conditions in which armed military combat and personal self-defense are warranted and morally licit. (CCC 2243)

Ch 3:10-15 Pleasure is a blessing. However, it becomes disordered and evil when it does not correspond to the true fulfillment and welfare of the human person. For example, nourishment is required for the health of the human body and at the same time is linked to the pleasure of eating; this pleasure is legitimate as long as it does not go beyond the parameters of nourishment, e.g., into gluttony or drunkenness. (CCC 1705. 2113, 2351-2355, 2362)

Ch 3:11 The human being is distinct from the rest of creation since every man and woman searches for a sense of meaning. Moreover, every individual is endowed with the capacity to understand material creation, to know right from wrong, and to choose to love and do good to others. Human beings are the only creatures God made directly for Himself. (CCC 37, 1952-1960, 1978-1979)

Ch 3:16-17 Even when there is justice and virtue, injustice and evil linger. Given our fallen nature and our inclination to sin, perfect justice will never reign in the world. Without serious struggle and God’s assistance, the human being will fall into selfishness expressed in different forms of vanity. (CCC 1766-1777)

Ch 3:20-22 All of creation originates in the will of God the Father through God the Son by the work of the Holy Spirit. These verses reflect an undeveloped notion of life after death; it seems that some believed that those who died would go to a nondescript place of rest. Since everyone is consigned to his or her present lot in life, everyone should make the best of a situation he or she cannot change. (CCC 703)

4:1-16 Oppression of the poor ranks among the sins that cry to heaven. In many instances, successes can stir up jealousy and envy in others. Amassing wealth can lead to greed and attachment to comfort and luxury, obscuring the capacity to notice the needs of others. Furthermore, material possessions, unless used generously in service to those in need, become an ever-consuming obsession to the detriment of the common good. (CCC 1867, 2544, 2556)

Ch 5:1-12 The cultivation of the fear of God is the pathway to true wisdom. Controlling our thoughts, desires, and words are indispensable conditions to the contemplation of God’s will and to live by it. The human heart can ONLY be satisfied by God, and detachment from material goods liberates the human heart for prayer and works of charity. The famous words of St. Augustine summarize well these ideas: “Our hearts are restless, O God, until they rest in you.” (CCC 30, 1723)

Ch 5:13-20 The inordinate accumulation of wealth enslaves and blinds an individual to the goods of the spirit and the needs of others. Christ reminded everyone that earthly goods have relative value and can never fully satisfy the yearning of the human heart. (CCC 29, 2445, 2536, 2552-2556)

Psalm 6 The psalmist, troubled in conscience and deeply aware of his sins, turned to God, who has command of life and death, in his time of suffering. The psalm describes both spiritual and physical pains, but it seems clear that the greatest cause of the psalmist’s anguish was his sin. He was confident that God would hear him, and from the context of ending this psalm his prayers seem to have been answered. This is the first of the PENITENTIAL PSALMS that express the desire for conversion and forgiveness. (CCC 633, 1502)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

“...Hear thou in heaven, act, and judge thy sergeants, condemning the guilty by bringing his conduct upon his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.” (1 Kgs 8:32)

“If they turn again to thee, and acknowledge thy name, and pray and make supplication to thee in this house; then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again to the land which thou gavest to their fathers.” (1 Kgs 8:33-34)

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we thank you. We just ask that you please open your ears to our cry, open your eyes to our trouble, and, Lord God, open your hand in our need. You know what we need and you hear our prayers always. You see us constantly, and yet, you desire that we ask. You desire that we pray. You desire that we seek and knock and ask. And we ask that you please hear our prayer this day. See our need this day and open your hand to give us what we need. But also we ask you, Lord, to open our hands that we can receive from you. Open our eyes to be able to see you clearly and your will. And open our ears to hear your voice. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Dustin's Insights 

Eccl. 3:

Cf. Eccl. 1:9-10, Ps. 90:4. This verse offers words of great comfort for the People of God. Past, present, and future all existing simultaneously in a block universe (to use a term familiar to those interested in special relativity, horology, and the philosophy of time) is consistent with the classical conception of God's perception of time since God exists outside of it and observes all events simultaneously. According to Albert Einstein, "the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." God views time—past, present, and future—like a complete book, whereas we experience it page by page; though we have not yet experienced it, our future already exists. This is why it is vanity to worry about what was and what is to come; God has no such worries, for he sees everything that has been, is, and will be. This should be a source of great solace for us as we strive ever more to live in uniformity with God’s will, under the care of his great providence. Ultimately, God is sovereign over all, so worrying would be vain for those who know God and love him. As Jesus says, “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” (Mt. 6:27). No, of course not! Jesus provides the remedy: “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” (Mt. 6:34).

My Study Color Code

Suffering, Martyrdom Places The Church, Sacraments, Divinity Horticultural Imagery People Messianic Kingship Sin, Death, Decay