The Wise Man and the Pearl -- By Joseph J. Mazzella

"The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Gal 5:14 NIV)

I love the old story of the wise man and the pearl. A traveler with a troubled heart was walking along the beach. He was headed to a small hut where an old hermit was said to live. This hermit had gained a reputation for his wisdom and kindness and had helped many people with their problems over the years. As the traveler approached the hut he saw the wise man gathering oysters from the sea for his dinner. The wise man smiled kindly to the traveler and asked him to join in the meal. As the wise man was opening a large oyster a huge pearl fell out. The traveler knew that this pearl was worth enough money to pay off his debts and take care of him for the rest of his life. He immediately asked the wise man if he could have it. The wise man smiled lovingly and without a second glance gave him the pearl.

The traveler started home thinking of his great fortune and all that he could buy with it, but while the pearl was heavy in his hands his heart was still heavy as well. After several days he returned again to the wise man?s hut. Placing the pearl in front of him the traveler said: "I no longer want this pearl, but I do want to know what you have inside of you that allowed you to give it to me without a second thought."

Like that traveler I also have much to learn, but I still hope to one day live like that wise man. I hope to give without a second glance. I hope to share without a single thought of myself. I hope to make my own life a gift of love to everyone in this world. That I believe is how God wants us all to live. We were not just put here to follow the Golden Rule, but also to live with Golden Love. We were not just put on this world to follow God's commandments, but also to become more like God ourselves. The greatest pearl of all lies in our own souls. May we all find it, cherish it, and then share it with everyone we meet.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella