A story for Eastertide

I put this in the Easter “LINK” and several people suggested a wider circulation…

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art, but the son died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father grieved deeply for his only son. A month later there was a knock at the door. A young man with a package said, ‘I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’ The father opened the package – a portrait of his son, painted by the young man, capturing his son’s personality. He offered to pay for the picture. ‘No, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’

The father always took visitors to see the portrait. When he died there was a great auction of his paintings and many people gathered to see them. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?’ There was silence. Someone shouted, ‘We want to see the famous paintings.’ But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding?’ Another voice angrily said: ‘We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with it!’ But still the auctioneer continued, ‘The son!’ Who’ll take the son?’

Finally, the voice of the man’s gardener came from the back of the room. ‘I’ll give $10 for it.’
‘Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the Masters’. The crowd was becoming angry. The auctioneer pounded the gavel… ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’
Someone shouted, ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’, but the auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I’m sorry, the auction is over.’
‘What about the paintings?’
‘I’m sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will that I was not allowed to reveal until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!’
God gave His son – and whoever takes the Son gets everything…

Fr Matthew