“IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO PASS THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” MK. 10, 25
What does Christ mean by this disturbing statement? Does it mean to say that the affluent, the wealthy are barred from God’s Kingdom? Conversely, are the poor necessarily privileged to enter his kingdom? Love of MONEY is the root of all evils, but they can in my garden anytime," a funny fellow once said. Wealth is not necessarily evil. Jesus himself enjoyed the food, the parties, the lodging offered by his rich friends. Also with money you can do a lot of good. But with money you can do a lot of evil too. You can bribe, hire goons and abuse people.
The danger of being Rich–and this is what Christ warns against–is the excessive attachment to wealth and the selfish pleasures that go with it. This is shown in this Sunday Gospel episode (Mk. 10, 17) where the rich young man went away sad because he couldn’t give up his possessions in order to follow Christ. The Gospel episode shows Jesus confronting a young man with this same question of his life’s center, his life’s core.
The young man found it easy to follow the Lord by observing the laws he has received from his religious upbringing. If all it takes to get to eternal life is to observe the commandments this young man surely would reach it faster than the others. Observing the law was easy for him. But Jesus wants to uncover for the young man the real treasure of his heart, the real values he cherishes. The Lord Jesus invites the young man to give up his riches, share it with the poor, and then, come follow him. From the description of the Gospel, we have the idea that outward observance of the law was easy for the young man, but his heart was really attached to his riches. This he could not surrender and he fell silent and went away sad.
What is Jesus trying to do? The Lord wants this person, his disciples and all of us to know that He demands total attention, love and faithfulness. If we are to be true followers of Jesus, we must not only adhere to external observances, but really surrender our lives to him. Jesus must be the center of our lives. Relationship with him must be the most important thing in the life of a Christian. Let us spend this week thinking of Jesus’call to make him the center of our lives. Shall we, too, go away sad? Or joyful and free?
#63. A HUMOR ON RICHES: A very woman’s complaint to a priest, “Why is it that in the Gospel, Christ said that it is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter heaven? Must rich people feel guilty simply because they are rich?” The priest replied, ”Your wealth and riches must not make you feel guilty. But the moment you refuse to share them with others, then, by all means, you must feel guilty.”
This week, on the 15th, we have the memorial of St. Teresa of Avila, Mystic and Doctor of the Church. On the 17th, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr of the 1st century. St. Luke, the Evangelist is celebrated on the 18th. On the 19th, the memorial of Ss. John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues and Companions is celebrated. All the other days are optional memorials. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. Please pray for us, we are still on the pilgrimage.
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,