The gospel this morning speaks of a young man who has been observant of all religious laws throughout his life and desires to do more “to inherit eternal life.” (MK 10:17-30) To move him from being observant to being a servant of God , Jesus, looking on him with love, told him to divest himself of his many possessions in order to be free to follow the path Jesus is walking. This was a logical directive since following Jesus meant becoming an itinerant, but it was too radical a shift for someone used to a different life. The gospel says he went away sad.
What Jesus was offering the man is found in today’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom (7:7-11) where the author reports being given the spirit of wisdom and says; I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her…
Since Thursday evening I have been part of a group of seekers whose desire is to know this wisdom of which the Scriptures speak.* They do not desire to possess it but rather to experience the spirit of wisdom which is not found in possessions or through intellectual striving. Spiritual practices, we believe, lead one deeper into the heart of compassion and the love of God. It is difficult to define the journey toward Holy Wisdom (God’s “playmate” in the creation of the world); one only travels by following the heart’s yearning and finds that the journey is its own reward. We have found this to be true in our prayer together, our silence and our conversation, sharing scriptures and our own experiences, letting go of striving to let our hearts rest in the presence of God. We will take leave of one another tomorrow noon – but not really – richer for the experience and hopeful of continuing the journey, knowing that our oneness does not lie in our physical presence to one another but grateful for the touch of God in this place and time.
*For more information about these “Wisdom Schools, go to http://www.wisdomswork.com.