Once upon a time a rich and generous man would give free gold coins to different groups of people. The only requirement was that the gift would be received in silence.When the day came for Lawyers to receive the gold, one pleaded his case with great drama. The rich and generous man simply passed by. The next day it was the turn of the lame, so the Lawyer disguised himself in bandages and splints. The rich and generous man saw through his ruse and passed him by. The next day was the widows turn. The Lawyer dressed up as a little old lady. But he didn't fool the rich and generous man who passed him by.
So the Lawyer concocted a plan with the local undertaker, who would wrap him in a shroud and pop him in a coffin for proper burial. The Lawyer and the Undertaker would split the cash.
The rich and generous man did throw gold coins on the shroud. The Lawyers hand snapped through the shroud and grabbed the dosh. Standing up, he said to the rich and generous man, " Do you see, at last, how I have received from your generosity! "
"Yes," said the rich and generous man, "but first you had to die".
Perhaps this story identifies how we might scheme and connive, promote and disguise our true selves to get what we want. And how we more easily receive the gift by just being silently present. The challenge is to die to the schemer and become the receiver. The posture of silence allows us to receive the gold from the rich and generous man.
The Poet Rumi has written, " The mystery of Die before you die is this, / that the gifts come after your dying and not before. / Except for dying, you artful schemer, / no other skill impresses God."
Our Blessed Lord is clear that dying is a moment of truth and a moment of transformation. And the transfiguration which envelops those who have the wisdom to see that 'little loss' for what it is can only come from the One whose death is a lifting up, an exaltation that draws all to Himself.