Aug. 18, 2015 Tuesday: 20th Week in Ordinary Time
"It is not how much we really ‘have’ to give but how empty we are so that we can receive fully in our life. Take away your eyes from yourself and rejoice that you have nothing that you are nothing that you can do nothing. Give Jesus a big smile each time your nothingness frightens you." -Mother Teresa
We know that Jesus was not opposed to wealth per se, nor was he opposed to the wealthy. He had many friends who were rich, including some notorious tax collectors. What Jesus teaches is that we should live the evangelical counsel of poverty. This means: detachment from material things and attachment to Christ. Let us reflect on the three kinds of evangelical poverty:
Material Poverty. Christ uses strong words to warn us of our attraction to anything material. Whether we are attached to lavish things or simple things, it makes little difference. No matter what the size of the attachment, our soul will not be able fly to the heights of perfection. Although hard for many, material poverty can be a first step towards affective poverty and path to holiness.
Poverty of Mind. Upon hearing Christ’s words, the apostles “were greatly astonished and said, ‘Who then can be saved?’” Christ tells us not to be astonished when we discover that his ways are not our ways. In this relativistic world, we are too willing to latch on to any reasoning that justifies our opinions or suits our fancy. “This subjectivity, or wanting to be led by our own way of feeling and thinking, is a persistent threat especially in our times. It is the cause of so many personal failures in spiritual and moral matters, since our intelligence, deprived of the superior light of faith and revelation, will go unchecked even in the most obvious and common things, calling good and true what is evil and erroneous
Poverty of Heart. “What will there be for us?” How many sacrifices we make for Christ are nullified by self-seeking! We may have detached ourselves from the luxury of material possessions, but perhaps we remain attached to the praise we receive for having done so. We know we are working for God’s glory when we are willing to do good without expecting any reward.
The hard saying is, “it is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”
-Fr. Joseph Benitez