“..for compared with her, all gold is a pinch of sand..” ..who is “she” ? ..she is wisdom..Gods wisdom.. the only way divine wisdom can be put into words is to use the feminine dimension of God.. ..men think & they think that they know..whereas women do know, through feel & experience.. for the times we take the feminine dimension of God & his wisdom for granted, let us ask for Our Lords forgiveness.. “..compared with her I held riches as nothing..” ; Lord have mercy “..I love her more than health & beauty..” ; Christ have mercy “..in her company, all good things come to me..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..one of the many blessings of being a monkpriest is to be party to a Church wedding.. the thrill of meeting a young couple for first time as they tell you with great joy they want to get married, get married in the Catholic Church, to have a Nuptial Mass & they want me to officiate on their special day..it doesn’t come any better..weeks months later having walked talked prayed with them towards the day, we have the night before a practice here in the midst of close family & special helpers of the day..it is joyful & relaxed as all the homework preparation has been done..all is ready..the crucial moments are when we talk through the marriage vows, bridegroom then bride repeating after me the phrases we all know off by heart..”I take thee..to have & to hold..for richer for poorer..till death do us part”..even at practice the tears come..& they become floods of tears when I encourage them to do what, in the heat of the moment, doesn’t come naturally..to look into each others eyes as you say it & you mean it..as you love the words into life..the eye contact, not the recitation of words, is at the essence of the unbreakable relationship..& then only then, the promises come readily lovingly “yes..I do..I will..”..the well known, the well worn story of the rich young man comes to life now for us..”what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus goes through the checklist & you sense the lad ticking off his dogged compliance..with 19 questions ticked & with one final question to come its at worst 19/20 ..A* & he feels he has made it..this young migrant disciple, his spiritual passport & work permit authorised..however what catches our eye & sits on our conscience is the cause for concern moment..“there is one thing you lack ; go sell give it all away, & then, only then, come follow me”..his face, our face, falls at these words & we too walk off sad when the ask & the sacrifice is judged calculated to be too much..
what was the key moment in gospel, & what is the key moment in a Catholic wedding, isn’t the checklist nor the words of the vows but the look..”Jesus looked steadily at him & loved him”..it is that look into each others eyes, Christ into yours, & yours into his, that makes the seemingly impossible & tragic, miraculous & stupendous..that one to one self giving, full total self sacrificial & unconditional that enables us to say without slightest hesitation “yes..I do..I will..” for life for eternal life forever..a happy ending indeed..& did you notice, like all the best gospel stories, it is left open ended, for you to write in your own happy ending?..rich young man did indeed walk off sad..but given he could never forget that wonderful warm steady look of divine love, how long did it take him to come back?..to say to Jesus “you may not remember me, but we met three months, four years ago..& is that loving unconditional open ended offer of a divine relationship still open?”..you know the answer..the apparent outsider now seen felt heard as a beloved insider..whilst some of the beloved insiders lose self confidence & divine confidence.. ”what about us?” asks Peter.”we have left everything & followed you”..poor lad wanting details of the final salary pension scheme with profits..& the gentle merciful Jesus gives him, not a dressing down, but a loving look of understanding, reassurance & inclusion..
..for all Our Lord is merciful, he has little time for two groups of fringe followers..both mentioned in gospel..the rich..the rich who walked away sad some years ago & still hold on possessively to their own gains & fortune..with their checklist Catholicism..the other vulnerable group are the camels..those who do go the full journey, at a measured steady self chosen pace, carrying their baggage &, within themselves, their own water supply.. seemingly with little need of others..persistent dogged long faced & dependable..looking always half asleep, especially if you try to gain & hold eye contact..so the rich man to heaven, & the camel through eye of a needle, impossible?..certainly not..Our Lord never ever gives up on the rich nor the camel..nor on you or I ..he waits, as he did for the rich young man, to come to his senses & come back home..“because everything is possible for God”..once you have accepted, fixed on to his steady look, life & faith can never be the same again..”from this day forward” & for eternal life.. [ 28th Sun Yr B Mk 10 ;17-30 ]