Gospel: Mark 10:17-30
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.” ‘ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’
Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age-houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions-and in the age to come eternal life.
Today’s gospel is from Mark 10:17-30 and it is about “inheriting eternal life”. A man once asked Jesus how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus told him that only God is good and man can only be good if he follows the commandments of God. Then the man said that he keeps all the commandments since he was a child.
Jesus told him that there is one thing that he must give-up, he must give away his riches and give it to the poor. He must leave his riches and follow Jesus with all his heart. Upon hearing these words, the man walked away from Jesus grieving for he has many possessions. Then Jesus told His disciples that it will be very difficult for the wealthy to enter heaven.
Important Message of the Gospel
Jesus took the wealthy as an example for us to grasp the true meaning of salvation. Most of us are not wealthy enough to have all the riches and possessions in this planet. What do you think is the meaning of “wealth” that Jesus is always pinpointing? It means our personal attachments to this world we live. Our riches may come in the form of money, possessions, career and fame. These are all the riches, even our attachment to our family is a form of riches.
Does this mean we have to give up the money and be poor ourselves? Abandon our families to live in a poor state to be like the saints? The answer is no. The wealth and possessions we have are only the gauges that will help us become the person Jesus wants us to be.
What We Have to Do
If you are wealthy and you have all the money, try sharing it to the needy without hesitation. For money is only a token here on earth but not in heaven. If we die, our bodies will rot and the wealth will be nothing.
If you are rich with friends, you have a beautiful family and you have a career that gives you fame, use it in a humble way. Do not brag, instead make use of your friends to help you share and do charities. Ask your family members to help you on your journey through helping the sick and the poor. Use your career and fame to gather around people who are far from God.
It is not the money that hinders you from following God, instead it is the “attachment” you have from your wealth. To enter the Kingdom of Heaven you need to be a blank slate for God.
Saints Who Renounce their Wealth to Follow God
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Claire of Assisi
– Clea | Helpline PH