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.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
Today’s Gospel is about the rich young man who walked away sad, and how it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a need than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of Godde… This has the disciples exclaim, Then who can be saved?, where Jesus replies, For men and women it is impossible, but not for Godde. All things are possible for Godde.
You may not think that you are rich. To find out you stand on the spectrum of wealth, go to Global Rich List. Enter your currency and how much you make; you will find out. For instance, if you live in the US and earn 25,000$ a year, you are in the top 2% richest people in the world by income. Surprised?
I truly like the fact that in the gospel, the disciples, who are not rich folks, are the first to exclaim, Then who can be saved? Who can, indeed?
We are approaching Lent. I am getting ready to enter the deepest, most moving times of our liturgical year. I will follow Jan Richardson’s Beloved e-retreat, while keeping abreast of Ignatian retreat(s). I will also read Vinita Hampton-Wright’s Praying Freedom, A Book of Lenten Meditations. I will discover the many “yokes” I carry on my shoulders and see which are those I need to remove and leave on the side of the road.
When the rich young man encounters Jesus and asks him what he needs to do to inherit eternal life, he hears that he must sell all that he has and give it to the poor. This young man is quite sad because he is very rich and cannot imagine giving it all, or most of it, to the poor. He is possessed by his money.
Were Jesus to ask me to give away my computer and never get another one, I would find it very hard — maybe even out of the question. Of course, I don’t know myself as well as Jesus knows me. Possibly, he would suggest something entirely different, which I would find even more difficult to give away.
Money, possessions possessing us, emotions keeping us unfree, addictions of all sorts, the time is coming to take a look at all those…
At the end of his post on Ash Wednesday, Marcus Borg writes:
… “dying to an old way of seeing and being and living and identity, and being born, raised, into a new way of seeing and being and living and identity. Ash Wednesday, as we are marked for death, is the annual ritual enactment of the beginning of that journey.”
This is so true. Ash Wednesday and Lent are a time when I can look at where I am alive and where I am not, where I follow Christ and where I do not, where I love my neighbor and where… I don’t.
Whether I will inherit eternal life for it, I cannot say. As Jesus told us yesterday, “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil’ …
Art: James Tissot, The Young Man Went Away Sorrowful