Sunday, October 11, 2015

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" Our first inclination today will be to minimize those words, to come up with all sorts of excuses for why they do not apply to us or to our wealth. Resist that urge with all your might. Let them pierce you instead, like a "two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow." Does your wealth truly encourage you to enter into oneness with our family, to place our siblings' needs and desires ahead of your own or your tribe's, to sacrifice all that you have for the enemy who is your brother or sister?

Uncomfortable questions, but we need to go there, even if there are no easy answers. I live in a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood in a nice suburb. I know that I am wealthy, though most Americans would probably disagree. I also know that I have no intention of surrendering my wealth anytime soon. Now, I could try to minimize this truth by reflecting on the meagerness of my bounty, or my efforts to simplify my existence, or the idea that everyone deserves a nice home in a nice community. But that is the comfort of denial. I am sinning against my family and there is no point pretending otherwise, for "everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of them to whom we must render an account."

Yes, I know, everyone does deserve a nice home in a nice community. But I also know that I am not doing everything in my power to make that a reality. I might have one eye on that goal. The other eye, however, is focused on protecting what I have. Where are your eyes focused? What is wealth drawing you into? Let these questions burn within your heart and soul until they become a plea for the spirit of wisdom to come upon you. And if she does, follow her wherever she may lead, for it will certainly be a realm that gives our family reason to "shout for joy and gladness all our days."