YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 20TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: POSSESSIONS AGAINST ETERNAL LIFE?
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 19:16-22) Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel we have the account on the rich young man who wanted to know what good he must do to attain eternal life. Jesus asked him if he had followed the commandments. When he answered he had observed them faithfully, Jesus told him to sell everything and give to the poor and follow Him. It was too much a condition for the man because he had too many possessions. He went away preferring his possessions than eternal life.
Possessions against eternal life? It should be a no brainer. But the man was too attached to his possessions. Is it possible to see more value in possessions than eternal life? What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the lost of his own soul? The material world is limited. It has a definite life time. Why would want be attached to it?
Presence. The man was more present to his possessions. He had grown to love and treasure them. Presence strengthens relationships. This brief meeting with the Lord was not enough for the man to part with his possessions which he must have worked hard for. Maybe, for him, the pleasure, prestige, and power his possessions provide are more real and satisfactory than eternal life? The account said he went away. Had he stayed and known Jesus more, he would have changed his mind.
Human experience teaches us that presence makes us closer to the person we spend more time with. We discover many things about ourselves and the other person. It applies too with God. When we start going to more masses, spending time in prayer and visiting the Blessed Sacrament, reading Scriptures, following His commandments, and being aware of His presence, we know Him more. In knowing the Lord more, we come to love Him. And in loving Him, we strive to serve Him. It follows that more experiences with Him means knowing, loving and serving Him more. Soon, our possessions come second to Him. And we would come to a point when all we want is to be with Him. Then, we have arrived at wanting eternal life. Eternal life is where we want to always be in God’s presence.