A gift within

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - NEWS | RELIGION - FATHER ROBERT TUCKER

A woman was wear­ing a piece of jew­elry with a pre­cious stone as she was walk­ing down the street of a large city, and she met a hun­gry trav­eler. He asked her for some money for food, then no­ticed her jew­elry and asked for it. With­out hes­i­ta­tion, she took it off and gave it to him. The trav­eler left hap­pily, for she knew the stone was worth more money than the money she had been about to hand him.

Hours later, the man went look­ing for the woman to re­turn the stone and found her in a restau­rant.

He gave her back the pre­cious stone and said, “I’ve been think­ing about the value of this stone, but can you give me some­thing even more pre­cious, valu­able and al­most price­less?’

The woman asked, “What is that?” The man replied, “Give me what you have within that en­abled you to give me that stone.”

The woman replied, “I just have a lit­tle faith and wis­dom to know that love, care and for­give­ness are the most pre­cious gifts, and so I now share those with you.”

This man, like Solomon in our first read­ing, makes a wise de­ci­sion, choos­ing wis­dom over power or riches or a great stone piece of jew­elry. Solomon, the man, and now we, are chal­lenged to know things are tem­po­rary and wis­dom is last­ing.

In the Gospel, Je­sus teaches the rich man the same les­son, not­ing the in­com­pat­i­bil­ity of wealth and the king­dom of God. How do your tem­po­rary pos­ses­sions keep you from prac­tic­ing love, care and for­give­ness that come from deep within the heart?

Through­out most of the Old Tes­ta­ment, ma­te­rial wealth and worldly power were seen as bless­ings from God. How­ever, the au­thor of the Book of Wis­dom in the Scrip­tures puts the spirit of wis­dom be­fore these things. Wealth, Pos­ses­sions, Power are tran­si­tory. The abil­ity to un­der­stand truly and judge rightly are last­ing. Like the rich man in the Gospel, we may not think of our­selves as rich, but most of us have nicer homes, bet­ter-stocked pantries, re­frig­er­a­tors and full clothes clos­ets more than most peo­ple in the world, and we need to stop, know and re­al­ize what re­ally are our pos­ses­sions and never stop work­ing for heav­enly trea­sures.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that we can­not be­come what we need to be by re­main­ing what we are. We are called to pray and act with wis­dom at least a few times this week as men and women of faith, to show that gift is alive within us. Je­sus’ hope for all is to make the right de­ci­sions from within the cor­ners of the heart con­cern­ing love, care and for­give­ness for this leads to a wis­dom­filled life.

Wis­dom can only be found, planted, nur­tured and har­vested from the heart. It can­not be man­u­fac­tured. Real wis­dom of­ten comes from the lips of the young like the fol­low­ing story. A grand­fa­ther said to his lit­tle 8-year-old grand­daugh­ter. “I’ll give you a dollar if you can tell me where God is.” The wise lit­tle girl said, “Gramp, I’ll give you five dollars if you tell me where God isn’t.”

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