Wealth and the Kingdom

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 10:17-30.

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? 
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.” 
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!” 
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 
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.” 
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. 
All things are possible for God.” 
Peter began to say to him,
“We have given up everything and followed you.” 
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”


Reflection

It was difficult for the Jews to comprehend that wealth can be an obstacle to the Kingdom. In their religious tradition, prosperity is a sign of divine favor. If a wealthy man is highly favored by God then why is it difficult for him to enter the Kingdom? Jesus, a sign of contradiction, overturns all this religious pre-conceptions and points out that not even wealth is an assurance of heaven.

The Kingdom of God afterall is God’s gift. No man can claim a right to it. No man can buy it for himself. No one buys himself into heaven. The only way to enter the Kingdom of God is to become God’s child in the image of the Son. To be in the image of the Son means to follow Jesus’ self-emptying, to follow Jesus’ lifestyle, to follow Jesus’ mission. This self-emptying, this dying to one’s self is impossible for us unless we allow God to teach us.

The Kingdom is gained only when we have divested ourselves of our wealth and the most precious thing we possess – the self. It is something difficult, something that goes against human instinct. Yet, we do not despair, because in our difficulty, Jesus looks at us with love in His eyes, and encourages us, to gain the wealth that is really beyond all wealth.  


***



This feed is an excerpt from my blog.


You can visit my blog at http://keithamodia.blogspot.com

or my website at http://keithamodia.co.cc
Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

Related Posts

Rich Man, Poor Man

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.