August 17, 2021
“IT will be hard for one
who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, 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.” (Mt 19,23)
For sure, everytime we
read these words of Christ, we can have the same reaction as his
disciples had. “Who then can be saved?” To which, Christ answered,
“For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
We need to understand this
message from Christ well, especially nowadays when there are many
indications we are not living this Christian spirit of poverty. Many
of us are trapped with their perishable treasures on earth when the
real treasure is in heaven.
The big problem of the
rich of this world is his attachment to his wealth such that he
cannot give himself fully to God. He may give the appearance that he
is giving a lot, but if it is not the whole of himself, then it is
not total self-giving which God deserves and expects from each one
Let us always remember
that God wants the whole of ourselves. He wants our entire heart,
not a divided heart. He wants to be everything to us, the first and
the last, the Alpha and the Omega. He wants to be given priority
over everything else, including our own life.
This is not selfishness on
his part, an act of ego-tripping. It is simply in recognition of the
basic truth that everything, including our life, comes from him and
also belongs to him. We have no right whatsoever to expropriate as
our own what actually comes and belongs to God.
We need to understand that
our intelligence and will, our freedom and rights that enable us to
be and to do what we want, and to be rich in many ways, also come
from God and belong to him. They can only be properly exercised when
used in accord with God’s will and ways.
And to be rich here does
not mean only those with a lot of money and resources. It can mean
those who are well-endowed in the other aspects of life—power, fame,
health, intelligence, luck, etc.
We need to remind
ourselves constantly that even if we can say we are the owners of
such wealth, resources, talents, power, fame, and indeed of our
whole life, we actually are at best only stewards who have to give
account to the absolute owner and source of all these things that we
Our total self-giving to
God and to others is when we start entering the supernatural
character that our life possesses, since we are the very image and
likeness of God, children of his, meant to share in God’s very life
that obviously is supernatural.
We are not meant to live a
purely natural life. There is no such thing. Our nature opens us to
make a choice between a supernatural life with God or an
infranatural life. But make no mistake. Our supernatural life with
God does not eliminate or suppress what is natural in us. What it
does is to purify and elevate to the supernatural order what is
natural in us. Christian poverty actually enriches us. That’s when
we achieve our human and Christian perfection!