Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 17, A.D. 2004
Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"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."
Today we have the oft-misinterpreted Gospel of the rich man entering the kingdom of heaven...Very often we can feel a sense of guilt when we want more for ourselves and our family...when we aspire to material success. I think this is a negative aspect of conditioning we have carried with us from previous generations...Riches or wealth in itself is not bad or good...it is our relationship to wealth which determines how positive an impact it has in our lives.
Material wealth or success can be very distracting...it adds complexity...suddenly we have more responsibility, more to manage...we plan more...we work on building an illusion of security for ourselves...the accumulation of wealth can build fear...we have more to lose...more to protect...we become less dependent on God's providence...growing more dependent on our sense of "control"...But when we recognise material wealth as a gift from God...not ours to own necessarily...but a resource available to us to function in the material world...it's control on us diminishes...and we gain a healthier perspective.
The verse above means that we are to be 'detached' from wealth. One had to take the items off the camel's back, and the camel often had to get down on its knees to pass through the gate known as the 'eye of the needle.' So the rich, if detached from wealth and who kneel humbly before God, can enter heaven. It is those who make a god of wealth, these are the ones who risk losing Heaven's eternal rewards.
Jesus calls us to live in the NOW and to be ready to enter the kingdom of Heaven...that means being able to recognise the gifts we have in our lives yet being able to give up attachment to those gifts...so that we remain free and open to God's divine plan.
- Cliodhna Doyle
Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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