< <  

Monday, February 28, 2000

  > >
1 Peter 1:3-9
Psalm 111
Mark 10:17-27

View Readings
Similar Reflections

the cross of being rich

"The man's face fell. He went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, 'How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!' " —Mark 10:22-23

Most people in the USA are rich by historical and international standards. Whether or not we are rich, we are "falling into temptation and a trap" if we even want to be rich (1 Tm 6:9). We are letting ourselves "be captured by foolish and harmful desires which drag men down to ruin and destruction" (1 Tm 6:9). It's not wrong to be rich but wrong to want to be rich.

"It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Mk 10:25). Therefore, we should be reluctant to be rich and do so only if the Lord insists on it. If we are rich, we must be good and faithful servants of the Lord (Mt 25:21), Who is the Owner of all the possessions and money which He has entrusted to us. We must tithe, give alms, and give sacrificially. Some think this will prevent them from staying rich. However, the Lord always outgives us. So those rich who are good servants of the Lord usually get richer (see Mt 25:28). Occasionally, the Lord will let a rich person divest themselves of their extensive responsibilities of stewardship. He gives them more freedom and puts them in a position less dangerous to their salvation.

Therefore, give "good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over" (Lk 6:38). This may get you out of being rich. However, if giving makes you richer, take up your cross of being rich, responsible, and endangered.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me (Jn 14:26) how to be poor (Mt 5:3) in this year of the Great Jubilee.

Promise:  "You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears." —1 Pt 1:6-7

Praise:  "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He Who in His great mercy gave us new birth" (1 Pt 1:3).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999