His disciples “said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’”

by Shiu Lan
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 7:7 - 11

Hebrews 4:12 - 13

Mark 10:17 - 30

This week’s gospel reading is a tribute to the apostles; those in religious life or the lay apostolate who has given up their worldly careers and possessions to follow Jesus. “[They] will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21).

Then Jesus goes on to make a most striking statement for “those who have wealth” even though they are living a life according to the commandments (Mark 10:23). He said “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:21). Those of us who live in the comfort of an affluent society have the opportunity to earn a good and steady income and have accumulated possessions like a house, a car or two, savings and investments, to name a few, have we become “someone who is rich” and therefore will be difficult for us to enter the kingdom of God?

It takes wisdom to contemplate how this question relates to us, something we have to pray for. The first reading from the Book of Wisdom is a prayer to ask God for understanding and wisdom for “All good things came to [us] along with [wisdom]” (Wisdom 7:11). We need wisdom to see beyond our earthly journey which is short and temporary, that all things in this world, be it power and wealth, beauty and health, will pass. We need wisdom to discern the will of God and what must we do with His guidance in our specific circumstances and in the time He has given us in this world to serve Him best. We should regard our legitimate possessions not exclusive to ourselves but also to be shared with and used for the benefit of others. The ownership of property makes us a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others (ref CCC 2404).

During Mass this Sunday, let us humbly pray for wisdom that would enable us to discern the path to eternal life, and to follow it in faith and hope; to grow in charity; be attentive to the needs of our neighbors and to share God’s providence with them as freely as we have received.