When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
“After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.'”
This week’s Gospel and Readings speak to us about value. Scripture uses many metaphors for value such as gold, pearls, and treasure, but it always directs us to the heart. What we love in the depth of our hearts will lead us one way or another in life. A love that is directed rightly will lead us, ultimately, to joy, while a love that is misdirected will lead us down a bad path if it is not corrected.
The First Reading focuses on the value of marriage. In the Sacrament of Marriage, spouses entrust their hearts to one another for life. In doing so, they entrust one another with a great responsibility; nothing is as vulnerable as the human heart!
The writer of Proverbs reminds us that taking on the great responsibility of marriage requires prudence. Those called to married life should seek out a “worthy” wife or husband. A worthy spouse will honor that entrustment of the heart. For a Catholic, a worthy spouse means, at the very least, someone who is willing and free to enter into a lifelong Catholic marriage, desires to form a communion of their whole life, is open to God’s gift of children, and is committed to raising children in the Catholic Faith.
Wherever we are on life’s journey, we should take some time to ask ourselves what we value. What are our hearts set on? Let us ask God to purify our hearts so that we can love well and to elevate our love to Him and His will.
Please be assured of my prayers before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
+ Bishop Schlert