Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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Pearls of great price

By | April 28, 2010

She loves those pearls and wears them everywhere, sometimes even to bed. Her mother and father take turns reading her a bedtime story, as they do their other children. After the dad reads her the bedtime story, he says to her, “Julie, how about giving me your pearls?” She says, “Oh, no Daddy, I can’t do that. I love my pearls, but you can have my doll instead.”

“No thanks, Julie,” he says and he kisses her good night on the forehead. The next week he does the same thing and asks for her pearls. She says, “Oh, no Daddy, I can’t give you my pearls, please take my puzzle instead.” “No thanks, Julie,” he says and kisses her on the forehead and says good night.

The third week her dad comes up to read her a story. After he reads the story, she sits up in bed and takes off the pearls from her neck and with big tears coming down her face she says, “Daddy, you can have my pearls,” at which time her dad accepts the pearls. He says, “Julie, I was waiting for you to give me this set of imitation pearls so I can give you this.” He takes out of his pocket a blue velvet box. In the blue velvet box there is a set of real pearls.

I have been telling this story because it’s a perfect example of the Father’s tremendous love for us, the fact that he wants to give us the real thing. He has many gifts to give us. Oftentimes, we hold on to something that is a cheap dime store version of the real thing. We hold on to our way of looking at things, we hold on to the gifts that we think we have. But, God the Father is standing there waiting to give us a set of real pearls.

The young people, through confirmation, will receive the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit and the Seven Holy Gifts of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. Like any gift, they have to be unwrapped. After all, what good is a gift if you put it on the mantle of the fireplace or on your dresser at home and never open the gift and never use it? It is just good for looking at, but it hasn’t much use.

The same is true for the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to us. Everyone who has been confirmed has received this wonderful sevenfold manifestation of God’s love. These gifts are the pearls of great price. May all of you use the pearls of great price to bring beauty to the world and to tell of the magnificence of the love and power of God.

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