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Sunday of the Twenty-eight Week in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 7:7-11
Psalm 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
Hebrew 4:12-13
Mark 10:17-30
As we enter the first week in the ˈYear of Faithˉ, today˅s readings challenge us to reflect
and question our personal beliefs regarding what ˈtrue wealthˉ really is, and its para-
mount significance in our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Book of Wisdom describes Solomon˅s incessant praying for wisdom and prudence
and the ˈtrue wealthˉ that came to him. For Solomon, prudence is understanding. Solo-
mon prayed and preferred wisdom over power, riches, health, comeliness, and light.
Solomon prayed for wisdom and it came to him along with all these good things. Solo-
mon understood that ˈtrue wealthˉ is wisdom that never ceases to exist (see Wis 7:29-
30). Similarly, the Responsorial Psalm urges us to plead for ˈwisdom of heartˉ. Why? Be-
cause the calling here is that joy, satisfaction, and gladness that are associated with the
ˈtrue wealthˉ of wisdom are not marketable or manufacturable goods/riches that can be
seized by the mortal. Rather, that they are gifts made freely available, proffered without
condition by the creator and redeemer of all.
In contrast, Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, begins with a disturbing image: the
Word of God that slices us open for inspection. The opening two verses (4:12-13) de-
scribe the power of God's word as a swordˎpenetrating our innermost being and soul.
As the Word penetrates, it judges our hearts, not our external achievements or posses-
sions. Since our hearts represent who we are as a whole, the condition of our hearts, not
our possessions, marks our openness to or rejection of God's voiceˎlet us pray for a
wise and altruistic heart.
In today˅s Gospel, Jesus is approached by a wealthy and deeply religious man so well-
attuned to his practices that he can sense that there is more out there than what he has
experienced so far. He asks Jesus about the "more," but his question focuses on what
needs to be added. He seeks the limit, or the next step, but discovers instead that eter-
nal life entails the surrender of one's whole self. Jesus does not tell the man merely to
separate himself from his possessions, to burn them or to walk away from them. He goes
a step further by instructing him to redistribute his wealth among the poor. Jesus calls for
more than a change in the man's bottom line and more than a permanent relinquishment