‘The truly wise person will care and share and not reap and keep.’
The scripture readings in our church for this coming weekend are: Wisdom: 7:7-10, Hebrews 4: 12-13, and Mark 10: 17-30.
From the Book of Wisdom we learn that the greatest gift we can have is wisdom. In fact, wisdom is that gift which gives meaning to all of our life. We hear that “all good things together came to me in her company.” It is a great gift to know who we are and how much God loves us. The reading from Hebrews moves us along to the realization that the Word of God is alive and effective and penetrates into the very marrow of our bones. The Word of God is wisdom and it has the power to change our hearts and minds.
And if we have wisdom, if we have opened our hearts to the Word of God, we will live as wise people, knowing what is important and what is not. The priorities that we live by will reflect whether or nor wisdom has entered our hearts.
And the way to gauge just how much we have given ourselves over to The Way of Jesus is how we treat the things around us and the people placed in our path. The reading from Mark can help us to see how much we are still living for ourselves with Jesus thrown in on occasion when it suits us or if we are truly followers of The Way.
The rich young man in this story is US, no doubt. We may not be considered rich by the way we determine who is rich in our society. We may not be part of the one percent, but we do have resources and we do make decisions on how we will spend our money. In fact, there are Christians who really think that if God blesses them with financial resources way beyond their needs, that God really loves them! How sad.
The rich young man came to Jesus in pretty good spiritual shape. He followed the commandments perfectly. And Jesus saw something in him that caused Jesus to love him, just as he was. Jesus, I’m sure, saw the rich young man as a potential apostle. And Jesus made the offer, and, sad to say it was rejected. The rich young man didn’t grasp that whatever he was asked to give up could never compare with the riches 9that God had in store for him.
I said that we are the rich young man, no matter where we are on the scale of wealth. How we spend what we do have is a valid indicator of our faithfulness to Jesus and his Way.
The truly wise person will care and share and not reap and keep. And don’t be fooled by the straw gospel that says wealth is a blessing from God and an ostentatious life style is somehow a reward for holiness. Jesus said give away what you have and follow me. I hope we won’t drive away sad, wearing our riches as we close the door of our luxury car. We will never know what this rich young man could have been if only he would have stripped away all that wealth that prevented him from being wise.