The first reading from the book of Wisdom begins with, “I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.” These words relate to the story we hear in the gospel reading when a young man approaches Jesus to ask what he must do to achieve eternal life. He tells Jesus he has observed all the commandments from his youth, and then is shocked when Jesus tells him that’s not enough. He is to sell all he has, and give it to the poor, and follow him. The gospel story states that, “… his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”
Going back to the word wisdom, a dictionary definition is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.” If a person is wise she/he has qualities such as intelligence, understanding, insight, perception, discernment, common sense. The young man seems to be caught up with possessions rather than understanding that life has more value than material things. He doesn’t recognize that following Jesus provides more security and meaning in life than what he has in material wealth.
The young man is like many of us who see possessions as more important than our relationship with God. We accumulate money but it’s never enough. We have the latest tech equipment but it’s never enough. We buy new outfits but they are never enough. More of anything does not guarantee happiness or contentment. Having love, support and values rank much higher on the happiness scale.
When is the last time you went through your closest and eliminated anything you haven’t worn in a year? When is the last time you gave some of your material wealth to the needy? In some way we are all given time, talents and treasure. How well do you use those for others instead of hoarding them for yourself? Let’s not be foolish. Instead, let us be wise and use our gifts for others so that God’s eternal love will be ours – now and for eternity!
What is your most valuable possession? Why is it important?
How do you use your time, talent and treasure for others?