Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 14, 2018 Cycle B
Fr. José Maria Alvim Cortes, Chaplain,
Saint John Paul II National Shrine
 Washington, D.C.

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Sunday Reading Meditations

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Today’s readings tell us how to be wise, how to act with prudence. Wisdom is a treasure to be sought.

Prudence is one of the four cardinal virtues. The Catechism says: “Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it” (CCC 1806).

In order to become prudent we need to pray. A prudent person is someone who prays. When Solomon became King of Israel the first things he asked from God were prudence and wisdom.

Today’s first reading is the prayer that Solomon said at the beginning of his kingship: “I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me” (Wis 7:7). Today’s responsorial psalm refrain says: “Fill us with your love.”  We need to fill our hearts with God’s wisdom.

Besides praying for the gift of prudence, it is also necessary to hear the word of God and meditate upon it. Familiarity with the Scripture makes us wise. In today’s second reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews says: “Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4:12). From the inspired word, we can achieve the ability to judge reality according to God’s light. We learn how to look at people and things as God looks at them. We become wise when we are able to see God’s action and glory. As today’s responsorial psalm says: “Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children” (Ps 90:16).

The Gospel tells us a story about an unwise man. This rich young man was not prudent. He did not choose the true good and then, compounding his error, turned away from Jesus.

The rich young man did not want to take a leap of faith. He chose to stay attached to his possessions. He mistakenly believed that the fulfillment of life consisted of the possession of things. He failed to accept Jesus’ challenge: “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have […] then come, follow me” (Mk 10:21). He chose his many possessions over Jesus and went away sad.

To be prudent means to follow Christ. By following him, we find the meaning of life. We discover everything united in God’s design. To be wise means to discover the unity of all things in God. Christ is the center that unifies everything in harmony.

Jesus tells us why we should strive for wisdom. He says that if we prefer him above all things, we “will have a treasure in heaven” (Mk 10:21), which means an infinite treasure. Jesus tells the apostles who had given up everything to follow him that they would receive a hundred times more now and eternal life afterward (cf. Mk 10:30). This superabundant recompense should motivate us to desire to be wise and prudent.

We invoke Our Lady as the Seat of Wisdom. Mary teaches us how to become wise through her example. According to the fathers of the church, the Word of God became flesh in her womb because she received the Word in her heart. As Christians we are invited to follow her example. Like her, we are called to welcome and meditate upon God’s Word in our hearts. God and God alone must become the center of our existence.

Let us pray for the gift to grow in wisdom and prudence. May Our Lady, through her powerful intercession, obtain for us the grace to discern the true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means for achieving it.  Amen.

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Sunday Reading Meditations