FR MICHAEL BIBLICAL IMAGERY
(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)
I PREFER WISDOM
What do you seek most in this world? A secular man may list uncountable things and I fully agree if it happens that way. But for Christian person what will be your preferred choice? A similar question may have been posed to the figurative person in today’s first reading. It is understandable if scripture scholars tell us that the figure in question is Solomon. Now, as a young king he prayed to God for wisdom, and this passage from the Book of Wisdom testifies to the fact that he preferred wisdom to all royal power, all wealth, indeed, he preferred wisdom even to light, health, and beauty. That was a reasonably good choice considering his age and what people of that age ask for if they were given the chance.
In the Gospel reading we are told of a certain man who went to Jesus maybe to seek Jesus’ approval that he was on the right track. He started his dialogue with Jesus with a question but one may deduce that his follow up answers show a man who may have come to show off on how he was keeping the commandments. Jesus now makes a demand from him; “Go sell your possessions…” This calls for heavenly wisdom which the man lacked. Peter also demonstrates lack of heavenly wisdom when he complained about the things he had left to follow Jesus. Anyone who is blessed with heavenly wisdom will be glad to lose the world and its glamour and have Jesus in return.
What was Peter thinking when he insisted that he and the others had indeed left all to follow Jesus? If they did not want Jesus in return as the ultimate prize of discipleship what else did they want? Modern day Christians should note this; we do not become Christians in order to become rich, neither should aim to become Christian as a means to acquire any earthly benefits. Our first and only reward for following Jesus should be to be rewarded with eternal life and to be like Christ.
The prosperity Gospel is destroying our age-old Christian spirituality of “discernment and detachment.” Catholics who were known to be custodians of the authentic Christian spirituality seem to be drafting gradually to the prosperity Gospel. We need to be careful else nothing will be left of our cherished Christian heritage.
Like Solomon if we chose wisely, first the Kingdom of God then the maker of all things may bless us with some of things he created in this world. Today’s Christianity is like “quid pro quo”. We will only become Christians if we get the assurance that we will be blessed with material wealth. Today, we are called to seek wisdom in order to know the right path.
The Word of God will find you out if you decide not to follow God’s path. For the second reading describes to us how God’s Word penetrates and judges our innermost attitudes, the attitudes that are most hidden from the world. This Word cannot be bought off or persuaded to turn a blind eye. It discerns “soul and body” – a soul that perhaps still clings to earthly things and is unwilling to give them up, while the spirit ultimately is “willing” (Matt. 26:41).
Please my dear friends in Christ, real wisdom and treasure is for one to allow God’s Word to control his/her life. Man cannot of his own accord ultimately penetrate his attitude; but God’s Word sees everything lying “bare and exposed” before it. We are accountable only to that Word, for only through the Word can we gain insight into ourselves. Remember in Christian theology, the Word is Jesus Christ who became flesh and dwelt among us; prefer him and all will be taken care of. You lack him and no matter your wealth or the throne you sit on, you will never find happiness. Remember the words of St. Augustine: “we are made for God and we belong to God and our hearts will be restless until they rest in God.” May our Blessed Mother show us the way to her Son.