Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I say to you: it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, believe me: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for the one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
On hearing this, the disciples were astonished and said, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and answered, “For human beings it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter spoke up and said, “You see, we have given up everything to follow you. What, then, will there be for us?”
Jesus answered, “You, who have followed me, listen to my words: on the Day of Renewal, when the Son of Man sits on his throne in glory, you, also, will sit, on twelve thrones, to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. As for those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or property for my Name’s sake, they will receive a hundredfold, and be given eternal life. Many who are now ﬁrst, will be last, and many who are now last, will be ﬁrst.”
Picture yourself entering a big supermarket or a big department store. There your eyes are assailed by rows upon rows of the newest products the market place offers, be it food delicacies of all kinds or fancy gadgets of all types. What do you feel then? Are you dazzled by such a spectacle? Are you tempted to get your hands on some of the products exhibited on the shelves? Do you feel a tremendous urge to go on a shopping spree and to buy everything in sight? If so, then you are not a free person. You are in the throes of greed and you are worshipping the idol WEALTH. Because an idol is anything to which your heart belongs. Be it pleasures, honors, reputation, fame, power—it does not matter. It is a form of WEALTH and you are its slave. That is why in today’s gospel reading Jesus warns us that the rich cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. Why not? Because the door of the kingdom is narrow (Mt 7:13-14). And, if you carry any kind of WEALTH with you, you simply cannot pass through. You must leave your idol behind. Are you willing to do that?
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