Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about what we need to do in order to follow the Lord genuinely and with faith. In the first reading today, taken from the first Epistle of St. Peter, we heard of how there will be time when we will face challenges and tribulations, temptations and obstacles in our journey.
In the Gospel passage today, then we heard about the Lord speaking to a rich man who asked Him what he needed to do in order to be His follower and earn a place in the kingdom of heaven. The Lord reminded him of the commandments of God as revealed in the Mosaic laws, which the Jewish people including the rich man should be well familiar with.
The rich man said that he had done and fulfilled all that were required of him, however, when the Lord asked him to sell all that he had and leave behind every possessions, he became very sad and went away in great anguish. Then the Lord said that it would be more difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven than it would be for a camel to pass through the eye of a candle.
Why did the Lord Jesus say that? It is because a camel has a long neck that curve upwards, and unless the camel bends its neck and stoops down, it will not be able to pass through a tight passageway. What this shows us, is the symbolic act of humility before God, and the willingness to listen and obey to the will of God. This is unlike the rich man who could not let go of his worldly desires and concerns, and unlike those who are so attached to those worldly matters that they could not devote themselves completely and wholeheartedly to God.
However, it is important that we understand that God does not hate or discriminate against those who are rich and those with many possessions. Ultimately, all the riches and possessions, all the money and goodies we have are not intrinsically evil and we can make use of them either for good purposes or for evil and wicked purposes. In fact, the richer we are and the more blessings we have, the more we will be able to give to others.
What the Lord is concerned about is basically the way we end up being overly attached and concerned about those worldly things, about money and possessions, about pleasurable and joyful things we experience through the world. We cannot afford to let go of our addictions and attachments, when they even come in between us and our love for God. As a result, God is becoming ever more and more sidelined in our lives.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is indeed now the time for us to resist those temptations and seek to be less attached to the many worldly attachments and desires that we have. We should place God firmly as the centre and the focus of our lives, and when we have done so, surely, we will find that there is a difference in our lives, as we will no longer be hesitant when the Lord calls upon us. We will be ready to give our whole attention and dedicate ourselves to God.
Let us all therefore make best use of this opportunity given to us by God. He has been so generous in loving us, and it is only right therefore, for us to show Him the same love and dedication which He has shown us. All of us should be ever more dedicated, humble and obedient, as we continue to live our lives out of faith in Our Lord and Master. Let us ask Him to protect us and to guide us always in our path. God bless us all. Amen.