Tuesday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time.
I will offer up a concrete sacrifice: I will detach myself from something I like and reflect on heaven while doing it.
Matthew 19: 23-30
you know what is best for me, and that is why I believe in you. You are always faithful to your word
and are more interested in my spiritual well-being than I am, and that is why I trust in you. In
spite of my sins, you always give me your loving forgiveness, and that is why I love you,
Lord, grant me a profound desire to reach heaven as shown by my
proper use of material things.
1. Entering the Kingdom:
We know from the Gospels
that Christ spends most of his public ministry preaching about the Kingdom of heaven. God wants to
be the King of our hearts. This is impossible if we are attached to things. When Christ says that it
will be hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven, he is speaking to every person. Christ
is saying that to be attached to material things means not having room for God. Itís not a matter of
riches. Just as a mountain climber doesnít use heavy gear or take a weighty rucksack, in our
spiritual climbing of the mountain (which is our intimate relationship with God), we need to be free
of anything burdensome.
2. It Seems Impossible:
The reaction of the disciples helps
us to remember how easy it is for us to be attached to ourselves, to things, to pleasures and to
desires. To leave all of these in order to get to heaven may seem impossible for us to do. In fact,
it is. No one can overcome these attachments without the help of Godís grace. That is why Christ
says, ìFor human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.î God will take us
to heaven if we let him. An overloaded boat will sink not because it is incapable of floating, but
because the weight is more than it can carry. We can reach God when we empty ourselves and allow his
grace fill our hearts.
3. Having Nothing in Order to Have It All:
We can usually
give up something in order to receive something better. That is why the apostle Peter, not really
sure of what ìthe prizeî of his following Christ is, asks the Master, ìWhat will there be for us?î
The reward of our renunciation is to be with Christ, forever sharing in his glory. The awesome thing
is that Christ tells us itís not something we will receive in the future, but something we can
already begin to receive here on earth. St. John of the Cross, who had a profound love for Christ,
understood very well that ìto come to the possession you have not, you must go by a way in which you
possess notî (The Ascent of Mount Carmel , Book 1, Chapter 13).
Lord, thank you for reminding me about what is necessary for me to do in order to
reach heaven. Itís so easy to get caught up with the things of this world and forget that they are
worthless when compared to heaven.
I will offer up a concrete
sacrifice: I will detach myself from something I like and reflect on heaven while doing