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10th October 2021

Give priority to God in our lives, not to our possessions.

Wisdom 7:7-11

Hebrews 4:12-13

Mark 10:17-21

Today’s readings remind us that we do not possess anything in our life, thus we should not refuse to surrender to the Lord everything. But, most of the times our “possessions” often possess us, and we become their prisoners. What we really do is giving our “things/possessions” top priority in our lives. Thus, we violate the First Great Commandment, which demands that we give absolute and unconditional priority to God.

Our first reading today personalizes Wisdom. She is the most precious of all pearls. She is God himself. All good things come from, and must return to Her. Nothing can be compared with Her. Nothing has value without Her. Whoever possesses her has everything.

All created things only partake in the beauty and splendor of God. Hence, we must seek wisdom more than material wealth. This is because, to possess her, is to possess the most precious of all wealth. Hence, saint Augustine reminds us that: Our heart must not rest until it is united with this precious Wisdom.

The Letter to the Hebrews was written to boost the Faith of

Jewish converts to Christianity. These converts faced the contempt of their former Jewish friends, and they felt pleasure, sadness for the institutions of Judaism (rituals, sacrifices, priesthood, etc.), that were either absent or greatly transformed in their new religion, namely Christianity. This letter tries to show them in what ways the new religion of Christianity is better than their old Jewish faith. St. Paul tells them, “The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword.” The living and effective word of God has the power to penetrate our body and soul like a double-edged sword. We should allow the word of God in all its vital power and effectiveness to challenge us and our priorities and goals in life. The sharp word of God confronts, chastises, encourages, challenges, nourishes, and inspires all who will hear and receive it. Like a double-edged sword, the word of God has the dual capacity of revealing God to the believer and revealing the believer to Him.

In today’s Gospel, we witness The rich, “good” young man’s sins of omission. Obviously, this young man who came to Jesus in search of eternal life really wanted to be accepted by Jesus as a disciple. The words “inherit eternal life” not only means life with God after death, but also entering a deeper kind of life here on earth through prayer and the following of Jesus, and through deep relationships with other people, or involvement with some noble cause.

However, Jesus did not want this young man as a disciple on his own terms, but rather on Jesus’ terms. The young man claimed that, from his youth, he had observed all the commandments Jesus mentioned. Even though the rich young man had never killed, stolen, or committed adultery, he was breaking both the commandment that forbids idolatry and the one commanding love of neighbor. He worshiped his wealth more than God, in other words his possessions ‘possessed’ him.

By abandoning wealth, the man would free himself completely in order to be able to offer himself totally and finally to a new call as a follower of the Lord. However, the Gospel says, the man is not willing to give up his many possessions and so, at this moment he refuses the right way Jesus shows him. He goes away sad, most likely because he knows that the special vocation to which Jesus calls him requires from him a special and definitive answer, of which the man cannot give.

That is why Jesus challenged him to rid himself of the attachment to wealth, instead of giving up what the young man saw as his security and social status, which was his wealth and entrust himself completely to God by following Jesus.

May the Lord grant us His wisdom and strength to fulfill His plan in our daily actions. Amen.


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