The Greatest Gift
Each of us is called to imitate and serve Jesus. But this does not mean that each of us is called to give everything away or to choose a life of complete poverty like the young man in this Sunday’s gospel. What Jesus is concerned about is not so much that each of us chooses a life of poverty, but that each of us, depending on our vocation, lives a life free from attachments.
The rich young man was sad because he had many things, and he knew that his heart was attached to all of the things that he possessed. He, therefore, was an example of why it is so difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven: because a person can have many things and be a slave to them to the point that he cannot follow Christ. To imitate Christ, we must be convinced that only God is great. All other things, even money, our homes, our jobs, our worries, are all passing away and are nothing in comparison to God. In this way, even when we possess many things, our hearts should remain free to love God above everything else.
To serve Christ also means that we use the gifts that God has given to us according to His will and for His greater glory. So often, we are tempted to think that the things or talents that we have are ours. We are tempted to think that we can do with them whatever we wish. In reality, everything that we have is a gift from God that we are called to use in order to do good, to serve, and to love Him and others. In one instant God could take away our family, our children, our homes, our jobs, our intelligence, our health, our work, and we could be left with nothing from a human point of view. But even then, if we have God, we have everything.
King Solomon understood well how nothing—not even riches—compares to the beauty of wisdom. Wisdom is a special gift of the Holy Spirit that helps us discern what is most important in life. Wisdom enables us to know God and to cooperate with Him by using the gifts that He gives us according to His will. Wisdom helps us to discover that God Himself is the greatest Gift. Let us ask God for the gift of wisdom, so that we may discover that God Himself is the greatest gift and that all other gifts are only meant to help us discover God’s Love, to know God, to serve God in this life, and to be happy with Him in heaven.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 143
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