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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Chronicles 9, 17-31

The king also made a great ivory throne which he overlaid with refined gold.

The throne had six steps with a golden foot-rest attached to the throne, and arms on each side of the seat and two lions standing beside the arms,

and twelve lions stood on either side of the six steps. Nothing like it had ever been made in any other kingdom.

All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the plate in the House of the Forest of Lebanon was of pure gold; silver was little thought of in Solomon's days,

since the king's ships went to Tarshish with Huram's employees, and once every three years the merchantmen would come back laden with gold and silver, ivory, apes and baboons.

For riches and for wisdom, King Solomon surpassed all kings on earth,

and all the kings in the world consulted Solomon to hear the wisdom which God had implanted in his heart,

and everyone would bring a present with him: objects of silver and of gold, robes, armour, spices, horses and mules; and this went on year after year.

Solomon also had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand cavalrymen; these he stationed in the chariot towns and near the king in Jerusalem.

He was overlord of all the kings from the River to the territory of the Philistines and the Egyptian border.

In Jerusalem the king made silver as common as stones, and cedar wood as plentiful as sycamore in the Lowlands.

Horses were imported for Solomon from Muzur and all the other countries too.

The rest of the history of Solomon, from first to last, is this not all written down in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the Prophecy of Ahijah of Shiloh, and in the Vision of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat?

Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years.

When Solomon fell asleep with his ancestors, he was buried in the City of his father David; Rehoboam his son succeeded him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this passage the Chronicler describes the throne placed in the hall of the “Forest of Lebanon” solemnly, without distancing himself too much from the narration in the first Book of Kings (1 K 10:18-22) “The king also made a great ivory throne, and overlaid it with pure gold. The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, which were attached to the throne, and on each side of the seat were arm rests and two lions standing beside the arm rests, while twelve lions were standing, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Twelve other lions also stood there, one on either side of each step” (v. 17-19). He concludes his narration with words of admiration: “The like of it was never made in any kingdom” (v. 19). The throne symbolizes the authority and the power of God. Then the Chronicler reports the richness of vessels and of several other items in the hall: everything is made of pure gold (v. 20); everything has to be precious and shining. Solomon appears as the greatest king on earth: the sumptuousness of his wealth shows the extraordinariness of his wisdom. He has become a reference for all the powerful of his time: “All the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind” (v.23). In this way they followed the invitation of the psalmist: “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth” (Ps 2:10). And the king of Israel is called “my Son” by the Lord in the day of his enthronement (Ps 2:7). He inherits the nations, but he will not crash them with an iron sceptre (see Ps 2:9), instead he will subdue them with the weapons of wisdom. Solomon is truly a man of peace, as his very name reminds: the kings of the world give him not only produce of the land and precious things, but also their weapons (v.24). In this page we can sense the icon of Christ, Prince of peace, who left to His Church the mission of gathering the people of the world so that they may walk on the road of peace and fraternity. This mission must be exerted by means of strong and humble love for all the peoples of the world and not by means of domination. The example of the queen of Sheba shows very effectively the universal mission of the Church towards the different peoples of the world. The description of Solomon’s military power as well as the magnitude of his reign “from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt” (v. 26) aims to show the sovereignty of God on the peoples of the world. Here the author hints at the extraordinary length, forty years, and magnificence of Solomon’s reign, omitting to mention the king’s weakness. He means to put Solomon forward as the ‘God’s servant’ who is called to build the temple. It will be the place where people worship God, a point of reference for all. Hence, we cast our mind into the temple to come: Christ and his Church.

Memory of the Church