In today's Gospel, Jesus continues to talk about the effects of wealth on one's salvation. Jesus uses an imagery to make His point: "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." Even if we are not rich ourselves, we would still admire people who become wealthy by their own hard work. His words may make us feel a bit uncomfortable. What is wrong with having lots of money earned by one's own sweat and labour?
What does the Gospel mean by being rich? To be rich here means to have a large surplus of money and possessions while around one are people who do not have what they need to live a life of dignity. How can I continue to hold on to “my” possessions when such a situation prevails? How can I claim to belong to the kingdom, the reign of God, which is a kingdom of love and justice? To be rich in the Gospel means refusing to share what you have with those who have not. As long as you behave like that, you cannot be eligible for the Kingdom. There is a radical incompatibility. To the Jews at Jesus' time, wealth was a sign of God's blessings. But now, they are told wealth becomes an obstacle for one's own salvation. This is very difficult to accept. Jesus understands our anxieties, and so He consoles the disciples and said: "for God all things are possible." Wealth itself is not evil, but "For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." (Matthew 6:21) If we are wealthy, let us remember Jesus' words to use our wealth according to the will of the Holy Spirit.
After listening to Jesus' words, Peter raised a question, for those who forsake everything in order to follow Jesus, what would be there for them? Jesus asked His followers not to worry. Not only will they "inherit eternal life", but also "receive a hundred times more". God never mistreats people. For those who answer His call, they would not lose anything, instead they would be more blessed, for God always wills the good of His people.