“The Four Wives”

Categories: In the Bulletin

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul”? – Mark 8:34-36

There was once a king who had 4 wives. He loved the fourth wife more than the others and adorned her with rich garments, the finest delicacies and only gave her his best. He also loved his third wife very much and always exhibited her in the neighboring kingdoms. However, he was afraid that one day she would leave with another. He also loved his second wife. She was his confidant, was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Every time the king had a problem, he trusted her to help him out of the difficult times. The king's first wife was a very loyal companion and made great contributions to maintain both the wealth and the kingdom. However, he did not love his first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly noticed her.

The king became ill and realized that he was dying. He thought about his luxury life and thought: Now I have four wives with me, but when I die, I will be alone.

So, he asked his fourth wife. “I have loved you more than the others, I have endowed you with the best clothes and I have taken great care of you. Now that I am dying, would you be willing to follow me and keep me company?” She said, “Do not even think about it!” and she walks away without saying any more words. Her answer penetrated his heart like a sharp knife.

The sad king asked his third wife, “I have loved you all my life. Now that I am dying, would you be willing to follow me and keep me company?” His third wife answered. “No, life is too good. When you die, I plan to get married again.” His heart felt a strong shock and he was cold.

Then he asked his second wife “I have always come to you for help and you have always been there for me. When I die, would you be willing to follow me and keep me company?” She answered, “I'm sorry, I can’t help you this time. The most I can do is to bury you.” Her response felt like thunderous lightning that devastated the king.

Then he heard a voice, “I will go with you and I will follow you wherever you go.” The king looked in the direction of the voice and there was his first wife. She looked so thin, she suffered from malnutrition. Deeply affected, the king said, “I should have treated you better when I had the chance to do it!”

Actually, we all have four wives in our lives. Our fourth wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we invest in making it look good, it will leave us when we die. Our third wife are our possessions, social status and wealth. When we die, they will go to others. Our second wife is our family and friends. No matter how we have been supported, the most they can do is accompany us to the tomb. And our first wife is our soul, often ignored in the pursuit of fortune, power and the pleasures of the ego. However, our soul is the only one that will accompany us wherever we go.

So, cultivate it, strengthen it and take care of it now! It is the greatest gift you can offer the world. Let it shine!

- Jaime Restrepo