YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 28TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE RICH AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
10:17-27) Twenty-Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus was approached by a rich man wanting to attain eternal life. It was a good opportunity for Jesus to teach the essence of eternal life. At its most radical condition, it means poverty and freedom from everything and slavery to God. Eternal life is the ultimate dream and destiny. Nothing compares to it. It is the reason for loving and believing. Following Jesus, who is the way, will lead us to the Father, to eternal life. The rich man was seeking the best thing.
Unfortunately, eternal life was not enough for his riches. His fate had been the fate of so many who saw the importance of riches more than faith in God. The lure and benefits of material or earthly possessions had inebriated so many that it had become their king. The reality of being rich seems to overshadow and puts doubts to the importance and necessity of eternal life. It has become a material world with the spiritual world set aside, taken for granted, or transformed into a myth.
The analogy of Jesus using the camel and the needle brings home the point that radical following of the Lord maybe hard but it is not impossible. A camel entering the needle's eye may be hard to imagine and accomplish but it can be done with God. Jesus encourages us to have that deep faith in God and less on our capacity no matter how great they are. While human experience would find it impossible for a camel to enter the eye of the needle, it is possible with God. It was a very gracious offer of faith.
The choice between eternal life and the world should be easy. The world maybe grand and rich but it is not enough. Death, which is a part of living, renders the world limited and wanting. If we do not believe in life after death, by all means, embrace the world. But if we do, why choose the world? Jesus gave a very good teaching in the parable of the pearl of great price and the treasure in the field. If we are so determined in obtaining and keeping what we believe is of utmost importance, eternal life should be treated better.
What happened to the rich man after declining to follow Jesus? Your answer is as good as mine.