Readings for Tuesday August 17, 2010
First Reading: Ezekiel 28:1-10
Responsorial Psalm: Deuteronomy 32:26-37
Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Mt. 19:23-30)
Did you know that God wants you to be rich? It's true, God wants each of us to live in wealth and abundance. Now, if you are thinking that I am talking about money and possessions, then I am sorry to disappoint you. Now the riches that I am talking about are the good things of God. God wants us to be rich in Him.
We read in today's gospel that it is nearly impossible for someone who has a lot of money and material possessions to enter into heaven. In fact we are told that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle! So obviously, Heaven is not a place that we can "buy" our way into with earthly things; which means that we all need to store up treasure in Heaven. So the question is, "How can we be rich in God?" This means that we need to have the abundant and endless love of Christ in our hearts. It means that we need to have a prayer life that is valuable and bears fruit. We must look after and tend to the poor and needy, which are the great treasure of the church. We must invest in our youth, for they are the future and those who make up the kingdom of Heaven. We must live abundantly in the Spirit, and seek to receive as much grace as we can.
When we abandon our will and agenda, and choose to follow Christ; then we are assured that there is the great reward of eternal life waiting for us. It is important for us to recognize the things that are valuable and important in this life. We must always make sure that we are seeking out the good things of God, rather than earthly treasures that we cannot take with us in the end. May each of us seek to be rich in God!
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all the many blessings in our life. Lord, there are many distractions and temptations in this life, help us to only focus on you and to never veer from the path you have set for us. Lord, thank you for the great love and mercy, help us to love as you call us to and to be merciful to others. Lord, we pray for all of our brothers and sisters who have fallen away from the Church, may they be brought back to your bride. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.