Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

We are all aware that we live in a society that has become very materialistic; it is easy for us to forget what really matters in life. To so many people, happiness depends on possessions: a beautiful house, a luxurious car, the best in video and sound equipment, all these things become people’s goals in life. Then, if one of these items cannot be attained, if a young couple cannot get a mortgage for their dream house, if an older couple cannot retire as they expected to, then life has taken a terrible turn for the worse and we become extremely sad because…[1].

Actually, this is not just a habit of modern American Society. The ancient Egyptians, Romans and others buried their stuff with them so they could take it to the nether world. In the Gospel for this Sunday a young man, probably a merchant, is called upon to leave his things to follow the Lord. He is a good man, someone who has tried hard to serve God, a man whom Jesus looks upon and loves. But he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t leave his possessions to follow the Lord. He had many too many things…But none of those things gave him true happiness. And not so with us?

St. Gregory the Great wrote that the more we are involved in temporal things, the more that we are insensitive to the spiritual. This is something important in the spiritual life. The rich man of the gospel has a hard time entering the Kingdom of God not because he is not concerned with the Kingdom of God, is because he is more concerned with the Kingdom of the world. My brother, my sister, the problem is not having material possessions, but in having our hearts attached to them.

So, what really matters in life? Well, the Book of Wisdom, the first reading, says that the wisdom of God is all that matters. To see things as God sees them. To understand as God understands. To enjoy the fruits of creation as God means them to be enjoyed. To use our talents and gifts to come closer to God, to lead our families in love, this is what matters in life.

You may be well off financially. You may not be well off financially. What is important is that our life revolves around the love of the Lord in and through others. This is Wisdom.

We must ask for wisdom every day. Wisdom comes from silence, prayer, and meditation. Wisdom comes to heart when we hear the Word of God with care, every Sunday in the Church.

Very often in our examination of conscience, we must ask some important questions: Where is my heart? What are the five most important things in my life? Where does the money in my scale of values? Does economic concerns distract me from what is essential, what is important, the things of God?

Last week we started the Year of Faith[2], and the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI returns to touch our hearts, he says: «During this time we will need to keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ, the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith”[3]: in Him, all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart finds fulfillment. The joy of love, the answer to the drama of suffering and pain, the power of forgiveness (…): all this finds fulfillment in the mystery of his Incarnation, in his becoming man, in his sharing our human weakness so as to transform it by the power of his resurrection[4].

This morning let us ask all together the gift of wisdom, and let us ask it trough the intercession of Our Lady. May she who believed always, help us to believe, and help us understand what is essential, what is important in our lives as Christians. Amen ■

[1] Sunday 14th October, 2012, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!. Ps 89(90):12-17. Hebrews 4:12-13. Mark 10:17-30 [St Callistus I].
[3] Heb 12:2
[4] Porta Fidei, n. 13 

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris