A rich man, with a passion for art, had in this collection works by all the great masters, Renaissance, classic and modern, from all schools and currents.
He would often stand with his only son, admiring the wonderful pieces from their collection.
But war broke out and the son was drafted and sent into battle. He showed great courage and died on duty, while he was saving a comrade’s life. When he received notice of this, the father was deeply pained by the loss of his only son.
A month later, he heard knocks on the door. In the threshold stood a young man with a large parcel in his arms… He said: “ Sir, you don’t know me. I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. On that day he saved many wounded soldiers’ lives but, while he has trying to take me to a safe place, a bullet pierced his heart, and he died on the spot… He would often talk to us about you and about the passion you have for art.”
The young man handed him the parcel. “ I know it is almost nothing. I am not a well-known painter, but I am sure that your son would have wanted you to have this painting.” The father began to unwrap the parcel. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. Looking at it closely, he was amazed by the way in which the young painter had managed to capture the face, but also the personality of his son.
The father let out a sob, and his eyes full of tears, he thanked the young man, also offering him a sum of money for the painting. “ Oh, no, that can’t be, Sir… My whole life long, I won’t be able to pay for what your son did for me. This is only a gift.”
The father hung the painting on one of the exhibition panels. Whenever he had visitors, he would start by showing them the portrait of his son, and it was only after this that he would allow them to see the great masterpieces he had collected. After the death of the old father, the auction of his great collection of paintings was organised.
At the start, the son’s painting was exhibited on the podium. The person in charge of holding the auction, the auctioneer, opened the session, knocking with his hammer: “ We start the auction with this portrait of the son. Who would like to bid first?” Many people gathered there, wanting to see and, in particular, to buy paintings for their own collections.
Silence fell in the room… Then, from somewhere at the back of the room, a voice shouted: “ We have come to see the great works! Skip over this exhibit!...” But, undisturbed, the auctioneer continued: “ Do we have any bidder for this portrait? 100?... 200?…” From the room, someone shouted irritably: “ We haven’t come for this portrait!... We have gathered here for the paintings by Rembrandt, Fragonard, Van Goth, Matisse, Picasso and the other masters!... Let’s pass on to the real auction!...” Undisturbed, the auctioneer continued:
“ The son!... The son!... Does anyone want the son?!...” At last, from the most remote corner of the room a shy voice was heard: “ I will give 10 for this portrait…”
“ There is an offer of 10!... Who bids more?! Does anyone give 20?!...” The room was in a uproar. “ Give it to him for 10!... Let’s pass on to the masters!... It was the man who had worked for many years as a gardener for the father and the son. Being a poor man, he couldn’t offer more. The masters!...”
They didn’t want the son. They all wanted to take advantage of the situation and to buy great works for their collections. Firmly, the auctioneer continued: “ 10, going once!..., 10, going twice!...” And, knocking the hammer against the table: “ Gone! Sold for 10!”
From the front, someone broke out: “ At last, we can pass onto the great collection!...” Calmly, the auctioneer laid down the hammer, saying: “ I am sorry, but the auction is over.”
Mayhem in the room: “ But the paintings?!... How about the masters?!... The collection?!...” “ I am sorry,” said the auctioneer. “When I was appointed to conduct this auction, I was informed of a secret provision in the will, which I was not allowed to disclose until this moment:
the auction only refers to the portrait of the son! Whoever takes him inherits his whole fortune, which also includes the whole collection of art works! Whoever receives the son obtains EVERYTHING!...” God the Father sent His Son 2000 years ago to die on the cross. As in the case of the auctioneer, His message is: “ The Son, the Son, who shall receive the Son?!”
Because, you see, whoever receives the Son shall obtain everything… For God so loved the world that he gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life ( John 3/16 ). THIS IS TRUE LOVE!!!
Sound : Il Divo - Adagio a ndonia [email_address] Slide 2: Painter - Fra Angelico