21st Aug 2018; Being Rich – A Challenge?

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Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope

1st Reading: Ezk 28: 1-10; Gospel Reading: Mt 19: 23-30

Jesus offers an odd statement regarding the rich people entering into heaven in today’s Gospel reading: “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.” Is it a fact that no rich person can enter heaven? Then what about the millions of rich people?

The first reading sheds light in this regard. The passage taken from the book of Ezekiel, presenting the oracle against the prince of Tyre, lets us know that God brings punishment on this prince because he has grown proud in his wealth (Ezk 28: 5). Having obtained wisdom and knowledge from God, he has used it to amass wealth for his own personal well-being and has begun to be proud of his wealth. But, what God expects is to be proud in Him. It is here that the rich people have the difficulty.

An incident from the people of Israel can enlighten us further. When Moses had up to the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments the people started saying: “Come make gods for us, who share go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him” (Ex 32: 1). The Israelites began to think that it was Moses who brought them out of the land of Egypt, forgetting the mighty God who redeemed them. It is here that the wrath of God increases to the extent of willing to burn them up (Ex 32: 10).

Dear friends, being rich is never a problem, if we are conscious to realize and state that God is the cause behind it and begin to make use of it for His purpose. If our possessions, or any human being, power and position for that matter, replaces the prime place of God, I think, Jesus will repeat the same verses on our face. Beware!

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