October 11, 2015
Today we hear a message that is contrary to this attitude of ours. The book of Wisdom (Wis. 7:7-11) considers wealth and riches nothing compared to wisdom. How to attain wisdom? Through prayer; suggests the book of Wisdom. “I prayed, and prudence was given to me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.” Wisdom is the discernment required to live life well. It is an insight into life, and not just intellectual understanding. Nothing is more precious than wisdom. Compared to wisdom even gold is like a little sand.
In the gospel today (Mark 10: 17-30) a young man was searching the way to inherit eternal life. He was a sincere seeker. He had already obtained all that was needed for temporal life. He was also faithful to the law. In other words he was a rich man, and a good man. Still he felt there was something lacking. He sought the help of Jesus to find out what it was that he was missing. Jesus told him that one thing was lacking – the spirit of poverty. He was not desiring to obtain that. When he heard the response from Jesus he went away sad. Jesus’ response to sell everything and give to the poor and follow him created a conflict in the young man. How true it is! Good News hurts sometimes. Therefore, some people are afraid to hear good news. God’s word is powerful. It may demand a change of attitude, conversion, even a radical change of one’s life.
There are some who accept that challenge. In the last week we celebrated at least two such people's lives – St. Francis of Assisi, whose father was a rich merchant. Francis could have inherited all that wealth and be worldly rich. But he renounced that and chose poverty. His followers still follow his example. Katherine Drexel inherited a fortune, $14 million in the 19th century, from her father. But she chose to spend it for educating the children of Afro-Americans and American Indians. In doing so she became spiritually rich and was canonized on October 1st , 2000 by the now Saint John Paul 11. Jesus said, “It is hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 19:23) Katherine proved that it is hard but not impossible. These and many others like them are examples of rich young people following the way of Jesus and becoming richer.
Jesus continues to speak to us. Are you seeking true riches? It may be a challenge worth trying. Why not try? What is the obstacle you are facing? Jesus is there to help you.