August 17, 2020 – 20th Week in Ordinary Time

“Accepting the intervention of the Gospel in our lives and taking the necessary decisions to focus our attention on the True Riches of Life!”

(Based on Ezek 24:15-24 and Mt 19:16-22 – Monday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time)

A man was passing out of a church when he met an old acquaintance whom he had not seen for several years. In their brief interaction, the man said to his acquaintance, “I understand you are in great danger.”

This statement was said seriously, and was heard with surprise.

The acquaintance who was addressed was not aware of any danger that he was facing, and so, curiously inquired what was meant.

The man, with a sense of concern, then replied: “I have been informed… that you are getting rich!”

(The acquaintance was being reminded of the danger that riches have…
… Riches can lead one’s heart away from the Lord, the greatest treasure
… Riches can blur one’s vision to help and reach out in service to the needy)

With a sense of acceptance, the acquaintance answered: “I thank the Lord for this timely intervention!

I do agree I have been losing my peace of mind over the last years, even though my bank balance is on the rise!
I do experience a spiritual vacuum!
I hope that your reminder will help me focus my attention back on the True Riches of Life!”

This is the great and a naked reality of our 21st century, in particular: There is a great spiritual vacuum at the heart of our society… a tumour of the soul!

There are many who have plenty of wealth…
… but extremely poor in peace of mind

There are many who have honour and fame…
… but strangely lost in loneliness and despair

There are many who have cashed in popularity and glam and glitz…
… but end up in depression and gloom

There are many who have built bungalows and estates…
… but sadly abandoned in nursing animosity at home

Our world is habitually sick…

Our society is often sad deep within…
Our families are frequently cracked and broken!

The Gospel of the Day, brings on stage, one person…
… who claimed he had everything right
… who claimed he did everything right

And yet….yet…”he lacked something!”

A vacuum filled his soul!!

The rich young man in today’s Gospel passage apparently looks as an ideal person…
… and some of us can even identify the pattern of our lives with his.

He seeks for Eternal Life…
… We too seek the spiritual treasures and religious riches

He addresses Jesus as the Master…
… We too acknowledge the supremacy and authority of God in our lives…

He knows the laws…
… We too know the basics of our teachings and are informed of the doctrines

He practices the commandments…
… We too do our bit in keeping the rules and regulation of religion

Despite all these aspects, he still lacked something…..

DESPITE ALL THESE ASPECTS, ARE WE TOO LACKING SOMETHING?

To hear that statement was hard for that man…
… and it is hard for us too, to hear and digest that – “You are lacking something!”
It’s a statement which can belittle people!

It’s like telling a Great Artist…
… your art is superb, but you still lack the quality in painting the nuances

It’s like telling a Great Speaker…
… your talks are classic, but you still lack the trait of modulation of tones

It’s like telling a Great singer…
… your voice is amazing, but you still lack the punch in singing the high notes

After doing and achieving many things, to hear that “You are lacking something” is hurting….

But that was the fact…. that was the Reality and the Reason, for the Vacuum and the Void that was experienced!

The rich young man thought he had gained everything… He assumed he did everything right…

But he still lacked something
… What was that?

“He lacked” having heaven as his greatest treasure and fortune…

“He lacked” the control to let go off money and mammon as the controlling factor of his life…
“He lacked” the charity to share his resources and his possessions to the needy and the wanted…
“He lacked” the generosity to set free his mind from being dominated by the cares and burdens of this world…

The man had gained much in life, but he still lacked what was most important: A great vacuum had engulfed his soul…
… a great void had overpowered his life!

Is my life in resemblance with this person, who thought he had everything right…
… yet lacking the Basics?

Is my life similar to this person, who considered he was on the right track…
… but lacked the Right Direction?

The Lord invites us too, as He invited the Rich Young Man:

“Go, sell what you have
…give to the poor and follow Me!”

“Give up the feeling that money and worldly riches can rule your life…
… rather acquire spiritual treasures”

“Give up the notion that worldly success can satisfy you…
… rather feed your lives with divine riches”

May this intervention of the Gospel help us to have a sense of acceptance, and reply: “I thank You, Lord for this timely intervention!

I do agree that perhaps, I have been losing my peace of mind…for various reasons
I do experience a spiritual vacuum!
I hope that Your reminder will help me focus my attention back on the True Riches of Life!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “It [is] overambitious to aim at being poor without suffering any inconvenience…

… in other words, to have the credit of poverty and the convenience of riches!”

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