Theme: ATTACHMENT TO WEALTH IS AN OBSTACLE TO CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP
- Wisdom 7:7-11;
- Psalm 89 (90): 12-17. R/ v. 14;
- Hebrews 4:12-13
- Mark 10:17-30
- Today is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The gospel today tells us that attachment to wealth is an obstacle to Christian discipleship. (Fuller; Faley)
The gospel today tells us that a rich man came to Jesus to look for eternal life. He was a good man because he kept all the commandments of God. He did not kill, he did not commit adultery, he did not steal, etc. But Jesus asked him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor and follow Jesus. The man went away sad because he had great wealth. He did not follow Jesus and become Jesus’ disciple. He was attached to his wealth. The gospel today tells us to be detached from our wealth and to share our wealth with the poor and the needy and to follow Jesus and become His disciple.
The gospel also tells us that it is very hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. In fact it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God! Again, attachment to wealth is an obstacle to enter the kingdom of God. Again, detach from your wealth, share your wealth with the poor, and enter the kingdom of God! For salvation is “impossible” for men and money, salvation is “possible” only for God!
Finally, the gospel tells us that those who have detached themselves from their wealth and family and followed Jesus will be rewarded a hundred times over with houses, land, mothers, sisters, brothers, children, etc. now in this life and also eternal life in the world to come! That is, they will be rewarded with a Christian community of brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and children, who will share with them their houses and lands and possessions! And they will also be rewarded with eternal life in heaven!
- The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us to pray for wisdom and not to pray for wealth, power, health or beauty. When we have wisdom we will know the will of God and all the other things will be given to us as well! Thus we read in the first reading:
“In her company all good things came to me, at her hands riches not to be numbered.” (Ws 7:11; SM)
Solomon did not pray for wealth, power or long life, but Solomon prayed for wisdom and God gave Solomon wisdom as well as wealth, fame and long life! (1 K 3:5-15)
- The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us to pray for wisdom. (NJBC; CCB) Thus the first verse of the first stanza:
“Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart.” (Ps 89 (90): 12; SM)
The responsorial psalm also asks us to pray for love and joy. Thus the second stanza:
“In the morning, fill us with your love; we shall exult and rejoice all our days. Give us joy to balance our affliction for the years when we knew misfortune.” (Ps 89 (90): 14-15; SM)
Thus the response of the responsorial psalm which is taken from the second stanza:
“Fill us with your love that we may rejoice.” (Ps 89 (90): 14; SM)
- The second reading is a warning; a warning that the word of God is both judgment and salvation. (CSB) The word of God is judgment for those who do not persevere in the faith and salvation for those who persevere in the faith. It is not enough to have faith. We have to persevere in the faith, especially in times of trials, so that the word of God becomes salvation for us!
- Today in this Mass we thank God our Father for his Son Jesus Christ, who suffered died and rose from the dead to give us the Holy Spirit; and we ask God our Father through his Son Jesus Christ to give us the Holy Spirit, so that we may be detached from our wealth, share our wealth with the poor and needy, and follow Jesus and become his disciples. And so that we will have the wisdom to know God’s will. We also ask God to help us persevere in the faith, especially in times of great trials. A happy and joyful Sunday to all of you!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.