Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
As a boy, I thought I’d like to be Richie Rich and have an English butler, a robot dog and a helicopter with my initials on the side. But I never grew up to be a rich man. Now that I’m a Jesuit, I never will be. Thank goodness: one less thing to worry about!
Money comes up a lot in the Bible. In the Gospels, Jesus pays close attention to how it gets in the way of a friendship with him. Today in Matthew’s Gospel, we don’t hear Jesus say that rich people never get to heaven. Instead, he tells his disciples to picture the largest animal they know and imagine it traveling through an impossibly small space. That’s how hard the challenge becomes when the allures of wealth interfere with a person’s readiness to follow Christ. In the end, it’s not about stuff. It’s about relationship.
How is my relationship with Jesus today?
—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the West Province currently beginning his Regency assignment in the Advancement Office in Los Gatos, California.
A Church that is truly faithful to the Lord
must be humble, poor and trusting in God.
Wealth is good when it is placed
at the service of one’s neighbour;
otherwise it is wicked.
Money must serve, not rule.
May the Lord give us the grace of the poverty
of working people, those who work and earn a fair wage
and who do not seek any more.