Homily (Reflection) for Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (II) (16th August, 2016) on the Gospel
(Saint Stephen of Hungary, Opt Mem)
Ezek 28:1-10;Deut 32:26-28.30.35-36. (R. v.39);
Topic: Hazards of wealth.
It baffled the disciples to hear that it will be hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus reassured them that nothing is impossible for God, cf. Lk 1:37. In replied to Peter’s question about what they would gain Jesus said,
Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.
Jesus’ words sounded as if it is sinful to be wealthy. However, He had admonished us, “...store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt 6:20). Saint James also writes, “Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days” (Jas 5:3).
Wealth as we can see is not a problem but one’s understanding of it. Riches comes from God, cf. Prov 10:22. Hence Saint Paul writes, “What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” (1Cor 4:7bc). However, the richer one becomes, the more he/she is expected to give, Lk 12:48.
Bible Reading: Ps 112:1-10; Jas 5:1-6; Matt 6:19-21.
Thought for today: One’s attitude towards wealth.
Let us pray: Lord, heal us of insatiable desire for material wealth and help us to store up true wealth for the world to come – Amen.
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