Third Sunday of Easter
April 18, 2021
Jesus was often called: “Rabbi” which means “teacher.”
In the rabbinic tradition, little stories are frequently used as a method of teaching deep spiritual truths. We find Jesus using this style of teaching in His many parables. As a child, He very possibly heard, and later used in His own ministry, a little story that has several variations, all communicating the same message.
One version has it that King Solomon was gifted with a large gold nugget. Desiring to use the precious metal to make something special, he invited all the craftsmen and artists in Jerusalem to submit a design that would produce an item both beautiful, and, at the same time, useful. A prize would be awarded to the winner.
On the day set to select the winning design, a great many proposals were presented, each quite spectacular. Bejeweled goblets, gold necklaces inset with diamonds, exotic bracelets, and so forth. Each piece was both beautiful, and, at the same time, functional. It seemed next to impossible to make a choice.
The final contestant was a very unlikely candidate. He was not a great artist or a renowned jeweler. In fact, this elderly peasant was almost denied access to the King. But just as he was about to be ejected from the palace, Solomon took notice of the old man and called him forward.
His presentation brought laughter to all present. He proposed a simple gold band with the inscription: THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
In his great wisdom, Solomon immediately proclaimed the elderly peasant the winner. He pointed out that the simple design allowed the beauty of the gold to shine. It was not overpowered by jewels or ornaments.
The wise king realized that the gold ring would be of great use during “troubled times,” as a reminder that, with patience, all problems are somehow resolved. During “good times,” the message of the ring would serve to remind him not to be overly confident, and to remain humble and vigilant.
To this very day, many Jewish people wear a ring of this design to remind them not to take blessings for granted, and to persevere during challenging times. It really is a beautiful tradition.
However, for those who truly believe that Jesus Christ is raised from the dead, reminders of this kind are unnecessary. The very core of the Easter message is:
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
This world, with its countless blessings and daily challenges, is temporary…fleeting. “Resurrection” means that there will be a conclusion of our earthly lives, and then we will pass into an existence that will never end.
People who have tried their best to live a life of faith will be called to a new, glorified and eternal existence. When we put aside our earthly bodies…temporary tents…fragile earthen vessels, if worthy, we will pass through death into eternal perfection.
While we wait, and in order to allow us to persevere during hard times, remaining humble and vigilant in good times, the Risen Christ has gifted us with something far more valuable and infinitely more beautiful than a gold nugget. The Easter Jesus has gifted us with His Peace!
There is nothing more useful to a happy life in this world…as we wait for it to pass…than the “Peace of The Lord.” This “Peace” is not something we wear; it is something that we hold within us.
It is awakened in our hearts at Baptism and is nourished through the Sacraments of our Church.
The simple beauty of Christ’s Peace enables people of faith to face every passing adversity without fear and with confidence in God’s goodness. When Peace fills our hearts, we very easily live humbly before the Lord.
Christ’s Peace is eternal. It will never pass away. That is a deep spiritual truth of which we should never lose sight.
So, let this Peace that is within you shine!
The Peace of The Lord be with you always!