“BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN” (Matt 5:3)
TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B)
Wis 7:7-11; Ps 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17 (R.v.14); Heb 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30
Last Sunday, with the example of marriage in which there is no separation once God has joined the two persons together into one, we were invited to be ever united with God without allowing anything to separate us from him. But it is quite true that the pursuit for material things has led many of us to miss the track of heaven.
Hence, today’s liturgy is very important and timely in its call on us not to allow material things to separate us from God. The young man in the Gospel was obviously making effort to be with God, but his corresponding quest for material things remains an obstacle on his way.
Understand that Jesus was not implying that being rich is in itself an obstacle to entering the Kingdom of God. The problem lies in being attached to the wealth. After all, had it been that the young man had agreed to Jesus terms, he would have been able to us his wealth to buy his way into the kingdom of God.
St. Anthony of Egypt, who is often considered as the Father of monastic life, lived out that passage literarily. He sold off the great wealth he inherited from his parents, provided for the upkeep of his sister, gave every other thing to the poor and embraced monastic life. That is an effect that the word of God can have on one who is disposed to it (cf. Heb 4:12-13). How well are you disposed to the word of God?
We all are called to follow the example of St. Anthony and allow the word of God to make an impact in our lives. It is not all of us who have received the call to live in the way he lived, but all of us, indeed, are called to the same detachment he embraced. That means that you can be very rich, and yet, your life is not controlled by your wealth.
Remember also that even those who are materially poor can also be materially rich in the context of Jesus usage today. The point is that the pursuit for wealth can be a blinder against faithful discipleship towards God.
It is therefore important for us to join King Solomon, in the First Reading, to pray for wisdom. With wisdom, we shall be able to discern how to use material things wisely so that they do not constitute obstacles for us in our quest to attain eternal life.
May that wisdom follow you in all that you do and guide you like the light into eternal life. Amen.
Have an enlightening and fulfilled Sunday with the Lord. Peace be with you.