Aug 16, 2010

To gain eternal life

The Gospel Mt. 19: 16-22, is a familiar theme about the danger of too many attachments, distractions, misplaced priorities, or whatever else may be keeping us from being "perfect." But, who wants to be perfect? I have enough trouble just getting through the day relatively intact.

Yet, this radical call to perfection is Jesus invitation to radical discipleship. The word "radical" is taken from "radix," the root of things; the very center and source. Radical change of heart and direction of life is what Jesus asks of his followers. A change in a new perspective of life and how we are in relationship to God and others. Lightening the load of whatever holds us back is essentially a call to holiness. Perhaps one thing good about the tighter economic times these days is that we think twice before acquiring more "stuff." Do I really need this?

The "needles eye" which Jesus states in Mt. 19: 23-30, is a metaphor for the necessity to unload that which is keeping me from joining the company of the Lord, free of distractions and complications. Not an easy task for any of us. Take some time to prayerfully reflect on Tuesday's Gospel and maybe ask the Lord what is the "needles eye" that I am trying to fit through or am I willing to unload that which is necessary for that radical, inner change of heart and lifestyle? Do I try to always be first, ahead of everyone else at their expense?

Will I go away sad or joyful with the answer God gives me?

Gospel - Mt 19: 23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
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.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”