Readings for Monday August 17, 2009

First Reading: Judges 2:11-19
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 106
Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22

The young man said to him,“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,sell what you have and give to the poor,and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,for he had many possessions. (Matt. 19:20-22)

If I asked you walk around with a backpack full of hand grenades and other explosives, you would tell me to go take a hike. You would tell me that there is no way that you would attach yourself to something so destructive. In this instance there would be just too much risk associated with the thing that you would attach yourself to.

While none of us go around attaching ourselves to explosives, many of us do attach ourselves to other destructive things. Most of us have the bad tendency of attaching ourselves to the things of this world, which may not necessarily destroy us physically, but they do spiritually. How many of us attach ourselves to objects? We tend to highly cherish and put a lot of stock in worldly possessions. That is why the young man in today's gospel reading was so sad after talking to Jesus, because he was very entrenched in this worldly attachment. The Israelites from the first reading also became engulfed in this bad habit of attaching themselves to worldly things. Ask yourself today, is there anything that I am currently attached to that is preventing me from surrendering to the Lord completely?

I would like to offer this one last thought. Attachment does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. In the example I gave earlier, we certainly do not want to be physically attached to explosives, but what if the offer was to be attached to something good? I would say that while attaching ourselves to worldly things is not recommended if our ultimate goal is heaven, but rather, attaching ourselves to Christ is certainly the guaranteed way to get to heaven. After all Jesus says so himself; "go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Father above we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord help us to detach ourselves from the things of this world, and may we cling to you always. Lord you are our rock and our salvation, help us to store up treasure in heaven rather than on earth. Lord we pray for all those who are battling addictions, rather material, substance, or emotional addictions; may they be freed of these things that lead them away from you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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