A glimpse of a reflection on the vow of poverty

Peacefully waiting for Sunrise at Lake Michigan

I recently heard a story of a wise teacher asking his students, “If you want to boil a pot of water and there is not enough wood, what would you do?” One answered, “I will go and look for more wood.” The other said, “I will cut the trees and make more wood.” Another said, “I will go to the market to buy more wood.” The teacher asked again, “What if none of those options are available?” There was a long silence pause because none of the students had the answer. The teacher finally said, “How about we pour some water out?” 

Sometimes, I can see we make things more complicated and try so hard to keep everything on our plate, but the easiest solution is to let go.  Many time, that is the best way. I especially experienced this when I traveled. It’s so much easier, and I was so much happier with a backpack when I didn’t have to carry heavy luggage. 

In last Sunday’s Gospel, John 8:1-11, Jesus also challenged the scribes and the Pharisees to let go of their judgment, criticism, knowledge, strictly following the rules, and pointing fingers at the woman caught in adultery. Jesus was able to open the eye of their hearts and he was able to convert the scribes and the Pharisees who were present. They were able to see deep down in their souls and were able to put down the stones and the burdens they carried. Hopefully, they were able to let go of their perfectionism, education, knowledge, and criticism and were able to accept the humility of being vulnerable and failing. They too depended on God’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness for their imperfections, sins, and weaknesses. 

Jesus taught people back then and now teaches us to choose life that gives us peace, joy, and frees us. Our part is to do our best to constantly make choices and to let go of the heavy burdens which we carry with us on our journey. Learning from Jesus, the vow of poverty teaches me to let go of things that I carry which can sometimes weigh me down or can damage my relationship with God and my brothers/sisters. 

In our daily life, if each of us can stop for a few seconds or slow down to hear Jesus’ voice, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” Mt 11: 28-30 we will be less worried and travel lighter with greater peace, joy, and freedom.

Signs of new life and hope around me