Prioritising for the ‘true riches of our life!’”
(Based on 1 Pet 1:3-9 and Mk 10:17-27 – Monday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II)
A story is told about Phythius, an ancient King of Lydia (Lydia – a place in the present day Turkey).
Phythius was very wealthy, but also very greedy, and he would spend as little as possible.
His wife – the Queen – was however, greatly determined to cure him of this “wealth mania!”
One day when he came home hungry from a long hunt, she told the slaves to place before him dishes that were filled with gold…
… gold that was fresh from the royal gold mines.
The King stared down at his gold-filled plates, admiring them for some time, and then he asked for some food.
“Food?” his wife asked, feigning surprise, “But surely they have brought you what you love best in the world, haven’t they?”
“What are you talking about?” the King replied, as he lost his temper, “Gold can’t satisfy my hunger.”
“No?” the Queen answered, “Is it not foolish then to have such love for something that cannot be useful so long as you hang on to it?
Believe me; gold is truly of service only to people who exchange it for the good and useful things of life.”
The rich man in the Gospel of the Day also faced a similar “wealth mania”…
… and was reminded that “riches come to have true value, only when given in service, to the needy”
Are we also facing a “wealth mania” in our lives?
The rich man in the Gospel of the Day, approaches Jesus to ask, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10: 17)
When Jesus gave him a list of commandments, that needed to be followed to help ensure a passage into eternal life, the man replied, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth” (Mk 10: 20)
We underline a few aspects of this young man…
… he did desire for a life of eternity and followed the commandments
… he did nurture a sense of being pious and devout, to please the Lord
… he probably failed to live up to the intentions of the commandments
… he possibly got lost into only keeping the letters of the commandments; not the spirit!
He got attached to doing God’s commandment, but failed to break his attachments with the riches of the world.
He possessed the good will to follow God’s teachings, but failed to let go of the possessions of his life.
The Lord realized this “pitiable” condition of the young man.
He was wealthy in the world, but was unable to be rich before God
He was obedient to the laws, but was unable to be obedient to give up his attachments.
Therefore, the Lord, knowing this state of the young man – devout yet not properly focused…
… “looked at him, loved him, and said: ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then, come, follow me'” (Mk 10: 21)
This young man could represent any one of us…
We seek to be pious but find it hard to let go of our possessions
We seek for holiness in life but go through a struggle to give up our attachments
We seek to follow the Lord wholly but stumble to give ourselves entirely to the Lord
Yet, the Lord does not give up on us…
He looks on us…
He loves us…
And He invites us, to have the proper focus in life!
It is not material possessions that ought to occupy our hearts; rather, our hearts needs to be possessed with the Love for the Lord.
It is not worldly treasures that should be our prime motto in life; rather, a life, dedicated to the Kingdom of God and helping the needy with the resources we have.
Our material life is totally in the control of the Lord.
Our material possessions will be of no avail, when we leave this world.
Our hands will not be able to hold any riches when we depart from this life.
Let us instead be possessed by the Lord, gather the precious stones of His grace and love by works of charity and hold on to Him…
… so that we may have a wonderful life of eternity with the Lord of all treasures!
Let us give heed to some of the wise and noble sayings of Holy People who have described the necessity to be detached from the riches of the world…
St Bede the Venerable: “He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.”
St Alphonsus Liguori:”Those who desire nothing from this world are masters of the whole world.”
St Gregory the Great: “Be not anxious about what you have, but about what you are… Make use of temporal things, but set your heart on eternal things.”
Let us be faithful and witnessing members of the Church…
… by prioritising for the “true riches of our life!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
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THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY
This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture:
“Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”
From the beginning the Church has honoured the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them…
… above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God
The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
Let us help and commemorate them.
If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation?
Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them (CCC # 1032)