The Poor Man and the Carpenter’s Son
Briseadh na Faire
A poor man approached the Son of a Carpenter and asked, “Teacher, how do I get into the Kingdom of Heaven?” The Son answered him, saying “Go, sell all you have, give it to the rich, and follow them, for they will provide for you all the days of your life.”
“Look at the Lillies of the Field. They sow not, nor do they reap, but they are clothed in splendor.” the Son continued.
“But, master, they wear not clothes and appear as God meant them, in their own natural naked beauty,” said the poor man.
“As shall you, should you do as I command” said the Son. “Behold the starving children in drought-stricken regions, they too are clothed as God intended, and they are blessed, for lo, their mothers were forbidden to abort them, even though their breasts were dry and they had no milk to suckle them. God blessed these children with life.”
“But they are starving to death” protested the poor man.
The Son paused for a moment, doodling in the sand with a stick. “It is God’s will.” He said at last. “Look at the Birds of the Air, flying about in all their natural beauty. Though they sow not, God provides in abundance for them to eat. Those that find not enough of that which God provides, perish. And, in perishing, enter God’s Kingdom.”
“So you’re saying” the poor man began, “that if I give all I have to the rich, I should look about for the bounty God has provided, and wander the streets clothed as God created me at birth. And if I do not find enough of God’s bounty, and I perish, I, too, will enter God’s Kingdom?”
The Son smiled. “Now you are beginning to understand the depth and wisdom of God’s Love. For the poor shall enter God’s Kingdom sooner than the rich, who, out of their abundance, are forced to remain in mortal form and suffer in this realm far longer.”
The poor man walked away, his question answered. He chanced upon a rich man walking down the street in splendorous robes.
“Here” said the poor man, removing his clothes, “take these, and these pennies, too. They are all I have in this world. I give them to you freely, and will do whatever you ask.” He stood before the rich man in all his natural beauty.
The rich man looked at the dirty rags and few coins in disgust. “Get away from me!” he commanded.
And so the poor man left, wandering the streets clothed in God’s splendor, rejoicing that he will soon enter God’s Kingdom.