Jesus tells his disciples that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
As all things are possible with God, Jesus is not saying that it is impossible but only that it is very difficult. Jesus himself had some wealthy friends.
Compared to other nations, and indeed to the hidden poor in our own country, most of us are rich. After all rich is a relative word. If you have a car, a computer, a cell phone, food, shelter and money to spend on vacations, recreation, and entertainment you are indeed rich. Who then can be saved is a fair question.
In themselves these things are not bad but the danger is that we can they can make us greedy, selfish, uncaring, pleasure-seeking individuals focusing on ourselves and possessions more than on God, true and lasting happiness and eternity. We forget that no moving van accompanies us to the grave and that death is the great equalizer.
As followers of Christ we must be on our guard lest we become slaves to money, material possessions, things and gadgets.
We who are blessed with much must be concerned for the poor, the marginalized and the needy.
“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
We remember the Apostle Judas and the penitent thief.
We pray that we may live our lives open to the grace of God so that the eye of the needle may grow larger while the camel becomes ever smaller.
- Fr. Stephen Haslach, C.P.