Reflection for Twenty-Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel Jesus encounters a man who has been faithful in his observance of the commandments but wants to be sure that he is on the road to everlasting life. Jesus looks upon him with love and invites him to join his disciples. But there is one thing that stands in the way of his freedom to respond to the invitation. The man is attached to his riches.
We must not interpret this Gospel to mean that the only way to be a Christian is to sell all that we have, give it to the poor and follow Jesus. There are those who have read this Gospel and heard in it a call to do just that, but God does not call all of us in the same way. The way of Christians perfection is to respond to our call with complete openness, even if that means giving away our most prized possessions in accord with the unique call each of us has from God.
What is the one that stands in our way of responding to the invitation from Jesus to walk with him and preach the Good News? This is the call given to us in Baptism. Does the concern for making money crowd out every other concern? Do attachments to alcohol, drugs or food keep us so focused on our comfort that we fail to see the discomfort of others? Do we turn away rather than ease the pain of others? We are free to respond to our own unique call God has given us.
Most of our addictions or attachments are those ways in which we try to control our world or to give meaning to our lives. We fail to recognize that only a God can do that. The danger of riches is that they provide status, and a false sense of security, control and independence. Those with great possessions find it hard to put their trust in God and to surrender control of their lives entirely to God. The poor, on the other hand, learn dependence on God from their daily living.
Riches do not automatically condemn, just as poverty brings no automatic blessings. Jesus reverses the assumption that riches are a sigh of God’s blessing and that poverty is a sign of God’s punishment. If we choose to follow Jesus, we must give up whatever keeps us from depending on God and sharing God’s love for the needy. Serving God and not material possessions is the way to freedom, peace, and a life in harmony with God’s desires for us.
We must learn dependence on God for whom all things are possible, and who is the only one who is truly good!
God bless you all
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ

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