I once heard a story about this servant who spent many years serving an old widow. For a long time, it was just the two of them living in a big old house–the old lady had no family anymore, so all they had was each other. Theirs was a special relationship, one of mutual respect and love.
So when the widow finally died, the lawyer came and handed the servant an important looking piece of paper. “She left it for you in her will,” he said. The servant took it, hugged it close to her heart, then placed it in an old, battered-up picture frame, hanging it on the most prominent wall in her now tiny, shabby quarters (she moved out when the old lady died, naturally).
For years, the servant lived in poverty, for no one would hire a weak, tired old servant. But not a day would go by that she didn’t gaze into that framed piece of paper, remembering a happier, easier time. A time when she meant something to someone.
One day, a distant relative (son of a cousin’s neighbor’s uncle’s friend from high school) came to visit. The poor servant cleaned up her apartment as best she could, making the most of her humble home. Showing her guest around (which barely took a minute), she finally came upon her most prized possession. Peering at the framed paper, the guest frowned. “Do you know what this is?” “No, I never learned to read,” the servant answered shyly.
The boy took the paper off the wall and showed it to the servant. “It’s the land title to the old widow’s property. All of it. She left everything she had to you.”
Such treasure, such riches, right under her nose (well, on her wall) the entire time. If only she had known!
What if I told you that you, too, have unfathomable riches within your reach. Would you believe me? You are heir to wealth beyond your wildest dreams–a treasury of knowledge, faith and history, built up and strengthened over the centuries. Saints have died for this treasure, that you and I might hear it, and cherish it.
A little over a month ago, the Catholic Church launched us into the Year of Faith. Among many things, this year (more than others) we are called to go back to the basics, to get to know the faith we profess to believe in every Sunday when we recite the Creed.
We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction. It will also be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist. At the same time, we make it our prayer that believers’ witness of life may grow in credibility. To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed, and to reflect on the act of faith, is a task that every believer must make their own, especially in the course of this Year. —Porta Fidei #9
Now is the time to rid ourselves of our illiteracy, of the ignorance and complacency that clings to us like a disease. Let our faith be much more than just being present at church every Sunday. Let it grow deeper, wider, stronger. Let the Church teach us the things She has learned, and has safeguarded all these centuries for our sake, and for the sake of generations to come. Let us allow ourselves to be taught, that we may be used, in turn, to teach others.
Decide now to take that framed title down from the wall, and claim the wealth that rightfully belongs to you. Know the faith. Live the faith. Love the faith. And be as rich as the Saints in Heaven.