What is extraordinary about Solomon’s encounter with the queen of Sheba is how his riches, words, and deeds lift her mind to God. Rather than being impressed by Solomon himself, Solomon is so filled with the Holy Spirit that the queen of Sheba recognizes that it is the Lord who works through him. She arrives to test Solomon, and God showed up – in Solomon.

My favorite line in this passage is “there was no more spirit in her,” or as other translations have it, “she was breathless.” Encountering a person filled with the Spirit of God should leave us breathless. In the presence of a person truly wise, we are filled with wonder and awe at God’s majesty rather than that of the person through whom God spoke. The Ignatian motto of “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” – for the greater glory of God – is the motto of the wise person.

Do our words and actions leave people feeling breathless at the greatness of God?

—Rachel Forton is the Marketing & Retreat Coordinator for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.

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