“..for compared with her, all gold is a pinch of sand & beside her, silver ranks as mud..” ..who is “she” do you think ? it is what people of the Old Testament understood to be wisdom..a profound understanding gained from knowledge & experience.. & 2000 yrs ago that special gift, wisdom, became flesh in Jesus Christ .. & the fullness of that divinity now left to us as the feminine dimension of the Trinity.. the Holy Spirit, the wisdom & the power of God ..precious priceless, beyond gold & silver, beyond words ..indescribable yet known thirsted after, hungered for as love personified through experience.. ..the wisdom of love-making..
“l loved her far more than health or beauty..” Come Holy Spirit ; Lord have mercy “preferred her to the light..” Come Holy Spirit ; Christ have mercy “..in her company all good things came to me..” Come Holy Spirit; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..one of most familiar feared or loved stories in gospels..the rich young man [ or woman ] is you & me..humble reverent prayerful & wanting to deepen our faith “Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” ..notice it is “I “ me not us or we..he doesn’t come at it as one in a team/ community but as an individual. Jesus goes through list with him, the commandments guide book for a good life..as he voices each in turn your lad ticks off his compliance ;19 right answers & one to come, what does lad think? what do you think 19/19 now at worst 19/20 if I get last question wrong “I’m in..seat in heaven earned now guaranteed..& then comes Jesus’ chilling words we know too well ”there is one thing you lack..go sell everything, then come follow me”..poor lad, poor you & me, a huge ask & a bitter disappointment & we walk out from this Mass sad,with too much to risk & everything to lose..our mortgage nearly paid off, children about to leave for University ..our 18 reg 4x4, good health, two holidays a year, & a belief a faith in God..everything except one thing, the one thing we lack..the courage to risk the adventure of putting Christ first..& if it all feels chillingly familiar, take heart, read full text & stop habitually cherry picking the cold guilty bits..after his test, notice now what you missed for years; “Jesus looked steadily at him & loved him” loved him in his neat & tidy behaviour..his religious fear & misunderstanding of an Ofsted rather than a 1:1 meeting with God in person..it was that loving hope that Jesus had in him, an excited expectancy of a reciprocal look of loving recognition, that would have electrified the relationship from mere compliance to profound intimacy that Jesus ached for..have you ever thought of Jesus aching for your love?..wisdom & love meeting face to face..so two faces fell at these words & both parted sad..for how long?..a day, a week, 6 mths, 5 yrs? before he/I come back, approach Jesus & say “you might not remember me, but 5 yrs ago..I’ve taken time to ponder rethink deepen..never a day goes by without my remembering that look you gave me, that steady look that knew..unforgettable inspiring” he you & me become individuals of great wealth, & now..now..invited out of our safe individualism into the collectiveness & adventure of a community of believers, called known affirmed as followers of Jesus Christ..”come follow me”..& thee & me together will recreate the face of the earth..if you think it through rationally reasonably it will remain impossible, as impossible as camel passing through eye of needle..why a camel? familiar, a familiar role model in life & in Judaism, & now in our Catholicism; a beast of burden, it & you..carrying heavy loads & people on long journeys through inhospitable terrain..deserts stripped of goodness beauty or promise..oppressive climates & moods.. such is weight & conditions, you pace yourself, a 3 mph pedestrian in step & attitude..in it for long haul “let me tell you Fr Bede of my long haul!” & when was last time you saw a camel with a smile on its face? poor me, carrying weight of family, community & world on my shoulders..I’ve lost faith in others, so now I carry my own supply of water, as self reliant as is necessary..”who can be saved?” then another divine gaze “everything is possible for God” rely on my grace not your own water supply, trust in my pace & my loving gaze on you throughout your desert journey..& when going gets tough impossible, listen out for his whisper “Courage, man woman monk of little faith, why did you doubt? why did you forget my look of love compassion & protective care? for those of us for whom all that’s been shared so far is too radical, too much to risk & to fully believe in, Jesus gives you/us toe dippers a fellow doubter..the rock & the disowner, Peter “what about us?..what’s in it for us? “ at least he gets brownie points for asking on behalf of us & not just for himself.. poor Peter’s search not for intimacy but for incremental rewards when, in contrast & in company with the rich young man, we are now offered zero hours contracts & a divine relationship..will you come back to him here & now, partners in great great wealth?..will you?.. [28thSunYr BMk10;17-30]