Reading 1: My best friend at school once said he was going to call me Prudence – not sure if it was because he thought me wise, or that I just had an answer for everything! Now that I’m older, I would like to have prudence – the wisdom to know what to do and when to do it. How many times do we make bad decisions and wish we had known better?
The First Reading this Sunday is from the Wisdom of Solomon. When Solomon became king he was maybe just 18, and he asked God for wisdom above all else, as he was young. God said because you asked for that, I will give you everything else, too. Do you pray and feel God doesn’t answer your prayers? I believe God always answers prayers, but sometimes we just ask for the wrong things; so if we were wiser, maybe we would see things as God does. When you hear the first reading this Sunday, remember that the writer was young like you, and he put wisdom (prudence) before all things. Could you use a little more wisdom in your life?
Responsorial Psalm: How many of your favorite shows and movies and songs are about love? It’s only natural as long as people have existed! When I was at school I wanted to become a rock star, but after having some hit songs, ended up telling the world about God’s love instead. God created love and He created us out of love. He could have made each of us in any place, at any time in history; but He lovingly chose your birthday, who your family would be, your gifts and talents and personality. I did what I wanted first and it led to what God wanted for me. God planned you as His masterpiece and wants you to be perfectly happy in life and achieve something great. He believes in you – even when you don’t believe in Him! So repeat the psalm this Sunday asking for love and joy and believing God wants those things for you!
Reading 2: I bet you have some rap on your iPod. I know a Catholic rapper called MashetiMoses. He chose his rap name because he wanted his words to cut like a sword (or a machete!) and like Moses, he wanted to lead people to the one true God. St. Paul did, too, when he wrote to new Christians in Israel. It’s easy for us to think the Bible is old and boring, but back then the Church was new, and people didn’t know how to be Christians. Today we have iPhones, Facebook and Twitter. Today I have hundreds of online friends on Facebook and Twitter. Many are kids I met at youth events or retreats. I know some kids post bad messages online or use their phones to send wrong pictures. St. Paul says everything is naked and exposed to God. So would you do the same things with Jesus there? It’s not that God is a harsh judge who we can never please, but remember in the psalm, about God’s love? He wants what is right for us and will make us truly happy, plus He has the prudence mentioned in the first reading, when we do not. We have something to learn from each of these readings!
Gospel: Are we ever good enough for God? When I was at school, I didn’t live in a beautiful home. One time a boy came round who didn’t judge me by the surroundings, and we became best friends. Thankfully, we cannot impress God with our appearance or what we own. In fact He owns everything anyway, so why would He be impressed? A rich young man tried to impress Jesus with all his good works, but Jesus realized he loved money more than God. In my rock star days I knew many of the rich and famous, but I feel like most of them still have never found meaning in their lives. Jesus said it’s hard for a rich person to get to Heaven, as they don’t want to give up what they have. Today we are bombarded with ads for all kinds of things, but no matter what we have, we are left still wanting something else. We have a God-shaped hole in our hearts that cannot be filled with anything else. The Bible tells us God so loved the world that He sent His only Son. If we can learn to love Jesus more than we love all our things, then that God-shaped hole will be filled and we will have the wisdom, love and joy mentioned in today’s readings!