65101Jefferson City, MO 65101
St. Peter Catholic Church Jefferson City, MO 65101St. Peter Catholic Church
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28th Sunday in Ordinary Time


What gives hope and satisfaction to our desire for happiness and security? A young man who had the best the world could offer -- wealth and security -- came to Jesus because he lacked one thing. He wanted the kind of lasting peace and happiness which money could not buy him. The answer he got, however, was not what he was looking for. He protested that he kept all the commandments; but Jesus spoke to the trouble in his heart. One thing kept him from giving himself whole-heartedly to God. While he lacked nothing in material goods, he was nonetheless possessive of what he had. He placed his hope and security in what he possessed. So when Jesus challenged him to make God his one true possession and treasure, he became dismayed. Why did he go away from Jesus with sadness rather than with joy? His treasure and his hope for happiness were misplaced. Jesus challenged the young man because his heart was possessive. He was afraid to give to others for fear that he would lose what he had gained. He sought happiness and security in what he possessed rather than in who he could love and serve and give himself in undivided devotion.

Why does Jesus call his disciples to "sell all" for the treasure of his kingdom? Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. The Lord himself is the greatest treasure we can have. Giving up everything else to have the Lord as our treasure is not sorrowful, but the greatest joy. [See Jesus' parable about the treasure hidden in a field in Matthew 13:44.] Selling all that we have could mean many different things--letting go of attachments, friendships, influences, jobs, entertainments, styles of life--really anything that might stand in the way of our loving God first and foremost in our lives and giving him the best we can with our time, resources, gifts, and service.

Those who are generous towards God and towards their neighbor find that they cannot outgive God in his generosity towards us. God blesses us with the priceless treasures of his kingdom -- freedom from fear and the griping power of sin, selfishness and pride which block his love and grace in our lives; freedom from loneliness, isolation and rejection which keep his children from living together in love, peace, and unity; and freedom from hopelessness, despair, and disillusionment which blind our vision of God's power to heal every hurt, bind every wound, and remove every blemish which mar the image of God within us. God offers us treasure which money cannot buy. He alone can truly satisfy the deepest longing and desires of our heart. Are you willing to part with anything that might keep you from seeking true joy with Jesus?

Why does Jesus issue such a strong warning to the rich (as well as to the rest of us who desire to be rich)? Was he really against wealth? We know that Jesus was not opposed to wealth per se, nor was he opposed to the wealthy. He had many friends who were well-to-do, including some notorious tax collectors! One even became an apostle! Jesus' warning reiterated the teaching of the Old Testament wisdom: Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is perverse in his ways (Proverbs 28:6; see also Psalm 37:16). Do not wear yourself out to get rich; be wise enough to desist (Proverbs 23:4). Jesus seems to say that it is nearly impossible for the rich to live as citizens of God's kingdom. The camel was regarded as the largest animal in Palestine. The "eye of the needle" could be interpreted quite literally or it could figuratively describe the narow and low gate of the city walls which was used by travellers when the larger public gate was locked after dark. A normal sized man had to "lower" himself to enter that gate. A camel would literally have to knell and crawl through it. Why is Jesus so cautious about wealth? Wealth can make us falsely independent. The church at Laodicea was warned about their attitude towards wealth and a false sense of security: "For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing" (Revelations 3:17). Wealth can also lead us into hurtful desires and selfishness (see 1 Tim. 6:9-10). Look at the lesson Jesus gave about the rich man and his sons who refused to aid the poor man Lazarus (see Luke 16:19ff). They also neglected to serve God. The scriptures give us a paradox: we lose what we keep and we gain what we give away. Generosity will be amply repaid, both in this life and in eternity (Proverbs 3:9-10, Luke 6:38). Jesus offers us an incomparable treasure which no money can buy and no thief can steal. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. Material wealth will shackle us to this earth unless we guard our hearts and set our treasure on God and his everlasting kingdom.

Where is your treasure?

List of all Reflections:

PostedTitle
09/24/201426th Sunday in Ordinary Time
09/23/201425th Sunday in Ordinary Time
02/11/2014Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/29/2014Presentation of the Lord
01/22/2014Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/15/2014Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/09/2014The Baptism of the Lord
12/11/2013Third Sunday in Advent
10/30/2013October 6, 2013
10/23/2013October 27, 2013
10/16/2013October 20, 2013
10/09/2013October 13, 2013
09/23/2013September 29, 2013
08/21/2013August 25, 2013 - 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/31/2012November 4, 2012 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/24/2012October 28, 2012-Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/17/2012October 21, 2012-Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
02/29/2012Second Sunday of Lent
01/31/2012
01/18/2012Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
08/24/2010August 29th
08/17/2010August 22, 2010
08/12/2010Assumption of Mary
05/25/2009Pentecost The Birthday of the Church
05/29/2008Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/16/200629th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/13/200628th Sunday in Ordinary Time
06/28/2006Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/23/2006January 29th, 2006
01/16/2006January 22nd, 2006
01/09/2006January 15th, 2006
01/02/2006Epiphany
12/28/2005New Years Day
11/21/2005First Sunday of Advent
11/14/2005Solemnity of Christ the King
11/09/2005November 13, 2005
09/27/2005October 2, 2005
09/19/2005September 25, 2005
09/13/2005September 18, 2005
09/05/2005September 11, 2005
08/31/2005September 4, 2005
07/11/2005July 17, 2005
07/07/2005July 10, 2005
07/06/2005July 3, 2005
06/21/2005June 26, 2005
06/14/2005June 19th, 2005
05/23/2005Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
05/16/2005Holy Trinity Sunday
05/09/2005Pentecost
05/05/2005May 8, 2005
04/26/2005May 1st, 2005
04/18/2005Fifth Sunday of Easter
04/11/2005Fourth Sunday of Easter
04/06/2005THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
04/06/2005Divine Mercy Sunday
04/05/2005Holy Thursday Homily
03/27/2005EASTER
03/25/2005The Passion of John
03/14/2005PALM SUNDAY
03/07/2005FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
02/28/2005Fourth Sunday of Lent
02/23/2005Third Sunday of Lent
02/14/2005Second Sunday of Lent
02/10/2005First Sunday of Lent
02/07/2005Ash Wednesday
01/31/2005Feb. 6, 2005
01/24/2005January 30th, 2005
01/17/2005January 23, 2005
01/10/2005January 16, 2005
01/05/2005January 9th, 2005
01/02/2005January 2, 2005
12/28/2004Mary, Mother of God - Jan. 1st
12/26/2004Feast of the Holy Family
12/22/2004Christmas
12/13/2004Fourth Sunday of Advent Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14. Psalm 24: 1-6. Romans 1:1-7. Matthew 1:18-24.
12/06/2004Third Sunday of Advent Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10. Psalm 146:6-10. James 5:7-10. Matthew 11:2-11.
12/01/2004Second Sunday of Advent Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10. Psalm 72, 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17. Romans 15:4-9. Matthew 3: 1-12
11/29/2004First Sunday of Advent Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5. Psalm 122:1-9. Romans 13:11-14. Matthew 24:37-44.
11/22/2004The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King 2 Samuel 5:1-3, Psalm 122:1-5, Colossians 1:12-20, Luke 23:35-43