YEAR A: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 20TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: HARD FOR A RICH MAN ….
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
HOMILY: * Judges 6 : 11 – 24, Matt 19 : 23 – 30.
Today’s gospel is a follow up from yesterday’s own. When the rich young man walked away sad without following Christ because of his great wealth, Jesus began an all important teaching about the difficulty of rich people entering the kingdom. Why is it always difficult for rich people ( money minded people) to enter the kingdom of heaven?
1. They are exposed to more temptations, especially towards pride, lust, anger, vanity, cultism, selfishness, etc.
2. They have more expectations both from God and the people. They have to give account of their wealth.
3. Riches hardly allow one to pray. They are big distractions to the spiritual life. The bible says that ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’, 1 Tim 6 : 10.
A rich man is compared by Christ to a Carmel – the beast of burden. As a Carmel carries a burden, so do rich men carry the burden of their wealth. That is why people say : ‘ Big man, big trouble’. But the most painful thing about it is to realize that the burden finally belongs to someone else. So, the rich man has to finally and painfully offload his wealth to somebody else and depart naked to meet his creator at the judgment seat. As Henry Fielding wisely put it: ‘Riches are a blessing only to him who makes them a blessing to others’. This is the reality that faces the rich at the judgment day. Their salvation is therefore quite difficult, going by human terms, but with God all things are possible. We do not save ourselves. The basic theology of salvation is that it is by God’s grace. We need God’s help to be able to remove all obstacles to his saving grace ; one of the biggest of such is our possessiveness/ attachment to riches. Only those who have left everything for the sake of Christ will be rewarded, not due to sickness, accident or carelessness. It is better to let go with our wealth now and use to judiciously to gain ourselves the kingdom ( through offerings to the Church and to the poor) than to be made to finally give it up ( by sudden death) against our wishes. May God bless you today!