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THE TREASURE AND THE PEARL

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To live: what for? Here is the big question... so much pain and so many tragedies. Why? For wind only, would say Qohelet.

The Homo sapiens has been asking himself that same question for more than three hundred thousand years without having yet found the answer.

The man called Jesus has looked for, he also. Something was pushing him to want to know at all cost the meaning of that life apparently so off-putting and at times so absurd. I am sure that he has searched like nobody else and that he may have doubted like nobody else did.

Nothing fell into his lap. Nothing was dictated to him by the angels. Moreover, the answers that the venerable religion of his people was offering him left him unsatisfied.

During his youth which he spent working wood and living like everyone else, his head was a jumble of strange thoughts which were making his heart bleed. He wanted to see, he wanted to know, he wanted to snatch from darkness the meaning, the reason, the path, the logic of this life, the light which illuminates everything. He wanted to see the truth.

He searched until it would hurt, until he would want to die instead of believing only in what his eyes could see: a life where we are born crying and where we grow by begging like slaves for pleasures that do not last, a life that ends in rottenness under a heap of earth. He went through the silences and battles of unending deserts. And maybe he cried like nobody else ever did. He let out long screams which may still have the stars shiver.

Many times during endless nights, he fought hand-to-hand with God like his ancestor Jacob, wanting to know and to knock down the wall of the unknown, of destiny and of death, wanting to see what was present beyond that gray and dreary life, at times happy for some, but very often a hell for the greater number.

Many times like Job, he called on God with all his strength without ever getting any answer. As much as he could, he has knocked at the door of the almighty god of his ancestors, that god whose heroic deeds were sung by all, that god about which we were saying that he had thrown down Pharaoh from his throne and had precipitated his armies at the bottom of the sea, that god that destroyed his enemies and made short work of all those who dared hinder the plans of the people he had chosen, that god which required accounts for everything and that down to the smallest detail, that god that knew how to reward the just but did not leave unpunished any mischief, that god which promised paradises that were never reached, that god which remained deaf to his cries.

« In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him » (Hebrews 5:7).

Disappointed and downcast like Elijah, but mysteriously reassured in his combat, he found the strength to pursue the climbing of his Horeb to see God there and die. And so came the storm; he did not see God. Came fire, but he did not see God. And then a light breeze got up...

It was in the light breeze that finally his breathing rejoined the breathing of God where it collected the perfect gift, that treasure so sought-after and called «Wisdom» by the saints.

He savored Wisdom more than good health, than the beauty or the light itself of the sun. It became in him the inexhaustible source of all knowledge, of all justice and of all good. Wisdom planted in his heart the germs of immortality. He made her his bride. Compared to Wisdom, « all the gold in the world » became for him only «a little sand and silver, only mire » (Wisdom 7:9-30).

And so, from the mouth and the heart of Jesus the great rivers of the Gospel began to flow abundantly to give to drink the human beings who are still asking themselves why live, work, suffer and die. From his mouth, Wisdom says:

« Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for my heart is meek and enjoys being with humble people. You will be able to rest, since my yoke is light and agreeable ». « Whoever comes to me will never hunger; whoever believes in me will never thirst ».

(Matthew 11: 28-30; John 6: 35; Sirach 24:19-22; Proverbs 9: 1-5).

For Christians, Jesus is the man who, by exploring the depths of our being and by scanning the horizons of our future, was able to reach beyond himself the answer. He found the Wisdom of God, the pearl of pearls, and he espoused her. He discovered the treasure and, standing in our midst, he shares it with us in a banquet to which all the nations are invited.

To those who are searching and who are not contented with ready-made answers or in believing because others have believed, he brings them to the source.

« Whoever is wise will take note of these things

And understand the love of the Lord! »

(Psalm 107: 43)

 

Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

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