Readings for Monday August 16, 2010
First Reading: Ezekiel 24:15-23
Responsorial Psalm: Deuteronomy 32:18-19
Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22
A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 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. (Mt. 19:16-22)
What do you take delight in? It seems to be different for everyone. Some people take delight in collecting things, or in having a lot of possessions. Others take delight in creating art and making stuff. If you are like me, food is something that one can always take delight in. Many people take delight in accomplishments or social status. Others take delight in other people and in relationships. Now, I am not saying that it is not good to have hobbies and interests, we are each given certain passions and abilities which we should use for God's glory; but we must always be careful with the things that we delight in. These things should never take priority over the Lord; because what we should take the most delight in is the Lord.
In today's gospel, we read of the rich young man who took delight in all of his possessions. Unfortunately, because he took delight in these things and not in the Lord, he was sad when he learned that in order to be perfect and have treasure in heaven, then he must sell all those things that he takes delight in. In the first reading we see that Ezekiel is warning the people of Israel about the destruction of the temple, "the stronghold of your pride, the delight of your eyes, the desire of your soul." In both of these readings, you have people whose main delight was not the Lord, they took delight in other things. In order for them to get back on track and get their priorities straight, then these things needed to be taken out of their lives. They needed to get rid of these things that were taking their focus off of the Lord, only then could they begin to "store up treasure in heaven."
If we do not take delight in the Lord, then anything else that we take delight in will be empty. The Lord is the giver of life and the giver of all things. He must be the number one priority for each of us, and getting to heaven must be our number one goal. Let us each remember that what we should take the most delight in is the Lord.
Today reflect on the words of the Psalmist: "Find your delight in the Lord who will give you your heart's desire." (Ps. 37:4)
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you are our rock and our salvation, may we always trust in your loving care. Lord, help us to always take delight in you and to never stray away from your path. Lord, we pray for the conversion of all those who do not know you, for a deeper conversion of the faithful, and for life everywhere. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.