Solomon, the son of King David, was the second king of Israel. Early on in his reign, God granted him a request in a dream. 1 Kings 3:9 tells us that he asked for “an understanding heart” to govern God’s people (KJV). The Hebrew for this phrase can also be translated “a listening heart” or “an obedient heart.” Solomon over time became renowned for his wisdom, but this perhaps was his most insightful moment. He recognized that his own heart was inadequate and that if he wanted to hear and obey God, God would have to give him a new heart.
During Lent we become aware of our own inadequacies. We long to hear and obey, and at the same time we realize how prone we are to sin. May we too know that the heart that hears and obeys can only be placed in us by God. God is ready and willing to grant it, if we only ask.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington