Fr Donal Neary SJ,our former Parish Priest and author of these reflections has has taken up a new position as editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger magazine. Over the coming weeks publication of this blog will transfer from Gardiner Street Parish to the Messenger office. We are happy that this popular service will continue and thank you for your interest.
With God’s blessing,
Gardiner Street Parish
Gospel Reflection for 28th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – October 11th 2015
Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them, ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’
Peter took this up. ‘What about us?’ he asked him. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.’
For the rich young man, his money was a problem. He was good – kept all the commandments but maybe missed out on the main one, to love God and love the neighbour. Jesus’ heart went out to him in love, his misery and his wealth. But wealth blocked him from receiving love…what could have brought great joy to his heart was blocked.
Wealth can do this. The way forward is in sharing. If he could get free of his money and attachment to it, he would be happy. Otherwise he went away sad. Jesus did not condemn wealth, but the selfish hoarding of it.
We notice that people when they get rich may lose friends. They have to put guard gates on the house. And people are afraid to go out with them because they can’t afford the life style. Wealth and its trappings can stunt love.
For Jesus – Sharing is the way forward. He did that himself, shared his eternal life of happiness with us to death. Shared the love of his heart. The grateful heart will encourage us to share and to remain human and humble.
Lord help me be poor in heart, knowing that all I am is from you.
Donal Neary SJ