Daily Bible Reading
Monday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint 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."
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"There is something greater than Solomon here"
Rupert of Deutz (c.1075-1130), Benedictine monk
On the Trinity and all its works, 42, 4 ; PL 167, 1130
Having joined in collusion with her, the prophet Nathan, together with Bathsheba, petitioned for their plan before the old man, the wise king David, now close to death (1Kgs 1). Then it was that Solomon, whose name means “Lord of peace”, received the royal anointing. Then all the people went up after him; the crowds played on trumpets and gave themselves up to such great rejoicing that the noise of it caused the earth to shake, for the king had declared: “Solomon is the one whom I designate as ruler over Israel and Judah” (vv. 35.40). Now, without question, this enthronement prefigured the mystery of which Daniel speaks: “While the court was convened and the books were opened... I saw one like a son of man coming on the clouds of heaven. When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, he received dominion, glory and kingship” (Dn 7:10.13-14).
Thus it was at a prophet's initiative that Solomon was made king, just as it was in fulfilling the prophecies according to their spiritual sense that Christ, the Son of God, was acknowledged King of Peace, King of the Father's glory, drawing all things to himself. Solomon became king while his father was still alive just as Christ was inaugurated king by God the Father, who cannot die. Indeed, there is no doubt that he made him king and “heir of all things” (Heb 1:2) who does not die and will not die for ever, and – marvellous and unprecedented event – Christ, who is heir of a Father who lives for ever and can never die and who himself died once for all, came back to life and will no longer know death for ever.
Then Solomon “mounted the king's mule” (1Kgs 1:38). But better still, it is on his Father's throne, that is to say the whole Church..., “far above every principality, authority, power and dominion” (Eph 1:21) that Christ now sits “at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3). This is why the great multitude of people goes up after him with songs and rejoicing and earth trembles at their shouts. And we, too, have heard the great joy of those who made this glory known, that is to say the gladness of the apostles as they spoke in the languages of people everywhere (Acts 2), for “their words have gone out through all the earth and their message to the ends of the world” (Ps 19:5).