17th Sunday: “Only You, Lord”

Only You, Lord

A woman found a lamp and as she examined it and a genie popped out.  She asked him, “Do I get three wishes?”  He responded, “Nope, I’m a one –wish genie. What will it be?”

She pulled out a map and said, “I want these countries to stop fighting so we can have world peace, love and mercy.”  The genie replied, “They’ve been fighting for centuries and I’m not that good a genie. What else do you desire?

The woman replied, “Well, I want you to send me a good man who is considerate, loves kids, is kind to the poor and is rich and likes to wash clothes, cook and clean.”  The genie responded, “Let me see that map again.”

If one day you found a dusty old lamp, and a genie popped, what would YOU wish for?  Good health for ourselves or a loved one; a million dollars; a successful business; a long life; a happy family that always gets along with each other?

In our first reading, the Lord asks King Solomon what he wanted.  The king asked for wisdom so he will be able discern between good and evil, right and wrong.  The Lord was pleased by Solomon’s request, and so He grants it to him.

The Gospel also talks about each one of us having to make a choice as to what we consider our greatest treasure.  What are we wishing for?  What are we asking God for?

Jesus should not be just one more thing in our lives, the icing on the cake: He is the cake, the icing, and the cherry on the top!

Pope Benedict put it beautifully when he said:   If we let Jesus into our lives, we lose absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great.  Only with Jesus are the doors of life opened wide. Only with Jesus is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only with Jesus do we experience beauty and liberation.

Toward the end of his life, Saint Thomas Aquinas who wrote many beautiful books about Jesus, was praying in a chapel, and Jesus spoke to Thomas from a crucifix hanging on the wall. Jesus said: You have written well of me, Thomas! What do you desire?  Thomas replied; Only you, Lord.

In humbly asking for Jesus, Saint Thomas knew full well that he was asking for everything.

When we gaze at a crucifix or even better the Eucharist, we see that we need no magic lamp or genie to obtain our greatest Treasure.

As we approach Jesus in Holy Communion we too can say in our hearts “Only You Lord!”

Fr. Tom