Back in “the olden days” when I was young, we did not have to know what our vocation and profession would be. We were encouraged, instead, to pursue knowledge and education so that we would become whole and good people who understood the meaning and purpose of life. Our work, whatever it would be, would come along as time shed light on our steps. If we asked the larger questions of our life and tried to pursue the meaning of our existence as given by God, we would be where we were supposed to be. Helicopter or drone parents were not necessary for us; instead, parents who led lives that were examples of being a Catholic and an adult were the only requirements. I suspect if we were given the one question that Solomon had in our first reading of “what did he want,” I suspect we would have asked for the same gift, that of wisdom.
We learn that God was very pleased with King Solomon. This great king of Judah was a good and just ruler and devoted to God. He also felt limited as a successor to David and was concerned about his leadership skills. And thus we hear how God came to Solomon in a dream, offering Solomon a gift of his choice. The extremely wealthy and powerful Solomon might have asked for a long life, more riches, and more power. This man instead asked for wisdom so that he might distinguish between right and wrong.
Our gospel passage is actually about the gifts of the kingdom of heaven being greater than anything we know. The image Jesus uses compares the kingdom to the finest jewels. Indeed, does not the story tell us if we found one such jewel in a field, we would sell all that we own in order to buy the land?
The wisdom of the little parable stories by Jesus is clearly this: we are to renounce all that we have in order to acquire the kingdom of heaven because the kingdom is more precious than anything we know.
Many of us amass a lot in life; we have a lot of “stuff.” But when we have the wisdom to know what matters, we know it is faith, love, goodness, kindness, and many of the other intangi-ble virtues. To be sure, we need to provide for our spouses and perhaps a dependent (adult) child, but no matter what, we will be remembered for the wisdom of how we lived our lives and how we shared the more important pearls and treasures of our hearts.BACK TO LIST