A Word from the Wise (Seventeenth Ordinary)

Jesus continued, “God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidently found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic what a find! and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field”. (Matthew 13: 44)

As a journalist gathered notes for a story on Monsignor Jack Egan, renowned priest, she would feel his eyes searching her face. Egan was 80 at the time and had already become a legend among Catholic activists as a man who spoke truth to power and fought racial discrimination and social injustice with the faith and ferocity of an Old Testament prophet. His virtues were many, but the one he displayed that day – an understanding heart – surprised his young admirer.

Egan had asked her some searing questions about what she said was doing with her life. She knew her accomplishments and concerns were minor and compared with the great things this courageous man had achieved. With Egan’s prompting, she finally admitted to being stymied by a broken heart over a lost love. She then quickly dismissed her problem as petty and insignificant compared with the suffering of people around the world.

“Young lady,” Egan said, “don’t ever diminish the pain you feel. Your pain is as real as anyone else’s and equally worthy of healing”. She considers the wisdom shared that day as her pearl of great price.

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