Concerning Solomon's building of the Temple, two thoughts come to mind. First, we can recall why his father, king David was not allowed to build the house of the Lord. 'You are a man of war, you shed blood'. Solomon's character was formed by his father: when he was not in war, David instilled into Solomon his love for beauty, justice, and the love of the Covenant. That is why he could become free from the 'shadow part' of his father's life. Solomon asked for 'a discerning and wise soul', which he found more important than worldly power.
In today's reading, we learn how the Temple was built. The order and beauty is itself a model of the human soul which is capable of creating peace and beauty in the world – with the same intensity as we are capable of wars and destruction.
'And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any too of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.'
There was neither hammer nor axe; this is a significant detail. 'War-technology' is kept away from God's house. Hammer and axe, representatives of the skills and 'techne', which serve the production of weapons, symbolically, cannot enter the house of God. What a sense of the Sacred! (Sacred = the meaning of Life, the source of life.) That is whey, our churches, are powerhouses of remembering our task towards this Sacred... The need to purify our consciousness from all, particularly the 'war-technologies' penetrating our lives so deeply, destructive forces. On the other hand, the precise, numeric details for the building remind us that the real high-tech is our churches, and not the war-planes and satellite driven bombs!
The growth of the early church into a peaceful community is a manifestation of the above logic of following the Sacred. There is growth: 'We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity fo every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.' The focus is also on the Temple, here. Building up God's spiritual-physical temple, the Christian community. Violence, revenge towards a hostile environment does not belong to them; it belongs to God. This separation was key in the flourishing ethos of non-violence. This is the unique founding charisma of Christianity; Christ's personal presence. A great lesson for our Eucharistic communities! No need for words for what follows from it.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..