28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2018

28B18.   Wisdom 7:7-11.  “I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.  I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her.”  As I see it, the wisdom that is sought is to see things as God sees them to the degree that we as finite beings are capable of grasping a part of the whole of things. This world seems to be willing to have an almost infinite number of its visions of what it wishes to call the truth: whatever one feels to be true whenever one wishes to feel a particular way.  Truth is not a personal choice or selection process.  There is only one truth or reality and only God is capable of seeing the whole of it.  However, God can, according to his will, give to whomever He wishes the wisdom to understand or grasp whatever that person needs to know for his salvation.  Without wisdom we will waste away our lives without achieving anything that has true lasting value.

Mark 10:17-30.   A man asks Jesus, “’Good teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” To ask this question he must have felt that he was not getting the job done by just being a faithful Jew.  Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.’”  Interestingly Jesus does answer him solely out of his humanness perhaps because that was all that the man could see in front of him, Jesus in his humanity; secondly, because he had not come to the point of recognizing Jesus’ divinity.  Jesus is saying that God is the root or radical source of all that is truly good.  For anyone else to have any goodness, they must draw it from God.  “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.’ At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”  Jesus was calling on this man to let go of his earthly possessions so that, in turn, he would be free to take ahold of spiritual ones but he had not come to the point of having the wisdom to see the timeless value of the heavenly treasure and the passing value of the earthly ones.  Following Jesus daily we have, even here on earth, the greatest treasure that exists.  When Jesus looked at him with love, Jesus had given himself to him.  Not having the wisdom to recognize what he had been given, the gift that was Jesus himself, he rejected the greatest of all gifts.  The Holy Spirit works with everyone daily to mature gradually, growing more and more in the Lord so that our eyes of our hearts see more clearly and we are no longer blind fools. “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” To give up everything does not necessarily mean that we must dispossess ourselves of our material things, because, while still living in a material world, we need material things.  Rather we do need to develop spiritually so that, at the very root of our being because we live so deeply in Christ, we recognize that we belong to Christ, our very self and all that we own, even our bodies.  We have no need to have anything because we have the one and only thing that is necessary, Christ.  Jesus himself belongs to us because he has given himself to us and daily we grow in accepting that gift.  That is the true wisdom that lives in the one and only truth, Jesus who said ‘I am the truth’.

Hebrews 4:12-13.   “The word God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.”  The word of God is the expression of God that comes from his heart of love for us to bring us to be love as he is love. God’s inner self does not want us to be just dreamy, affectionate, comfortable and lost in a painless world.  The word of God also wants us to bleed because pain and suffering should never stop us from loving as he loved, no matter the cost.  The divine love we are called to pierces through all obstacles.  His love cost him dearly to leave heaven and live as a helpless baby, cost him effable pain in his humiliating treatment, physical violence and excruciating death on the cross.  We read in 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.”  The word of God, his wisdom given to us, does not allow us to live in the illusion that we have done enough to be heaven-bound, but pierces through our desire to feel comfortable by walling out the challenges of divine love.  Yet the word of God allows us also to feel confident in God’s hands because nothing is impossible for God.