For All Good Things Are Possible

10-10-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Everyday, life requires us to make choices in the face of so many options. To make some choices, one needs to forgo some other options competing for our attention. This weekend’s readings are centered on the choices we should make, the options we have to renounce in order to make the right choices and the consequences that arise from the choices we make. The book of Wisdom presents its author (presumably king Solomon) recalling how in the midst of so many attractive mundane options, he chose wisdom and renounced material treasure. For him, wisdom was his preferred choice because “her radiance never ceases”. The consequence of his choice here is that he received along with wisdom even those things he did not ask for. This reminds us of Jesus admonishing his disciples to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33).

In the Gospel, we see the consequences of choosing transitory wealth over everlasting treasure. A rich man came to Jesus and asked what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus first of all counselled adherence to the decalogue, but when the rich man confirmed his strict observance of God’s precepts from his youth, Jesus decided to ask him to exchange his transitory wealth for lasting treasure in heaven, He required of him a radical self emptying for God’s kingdom. The Divine Redeemer instructed him to go and dispose of all his earthly belongings, give the proceeds to the poor and come follow Him. The Gospel tells us the man”s countenance fell, he le[ unhappy. In leaving without committing to life with Jesus, he made his choice, he was ready to keep the commandments but complete self emptying so as to be perpetually reliant on God’s providence was not attractive enough for him. Thus his wealth became an obstacle to the eternal happiness he desired. What could be your own obstacle to eternal happiness? What would you be reluctant to give up for the sake of the kingdom? There is a piece of this man in each and everyone of us. We are often tempted to believe that the pursuit of material wealth and accomplishments would afford us happiness, but God made the human soul to transcend the corporeal and reach for the Divine from whom true happiness emanates. For Jesus, adherence to codified precepts alone cannot achieve life beyond the grave. It is also never wise to forgo eternal life and to choose the momentary pleasure that earthly possessing and accomplishments affords us because material wealth does not really enrich us eternally as the wisdom of serving God does. This is why Jesus advised His disciples to store up their treasures in heaven and not on earth where moths and decay can destroy, and thieves can break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-21). The Lord emphasized the unfortunate capacity of wealth to hinder people from entering the kingdom of God and promised eternal life to the apostles and in fact anyone who renounces earthly treasures to follow Him.

Our prayer today is for God to endow us with wisdom so we can habitually seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This noble choice will enable us to be happy with our Creator in this world and in the next.

Beloved brethren, God bless you.