Saturday, October 10, 2009

27th Sunday: "you will have treasure in heaven"

Wisdom 7, 7-11; Psalm 90, 12-17; Hebrews 4, 12-13; St. Mark 10, 17-30

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Called away from the world and all it holds and called to God. These are detachment and vocation, constants in each of our lives.

We are called away from some things in our world, as the Lord called the rich young man away from his possessions. We are called toward the Lord Jesus, to follow him unreservedly, as the young man was unable to do when he walked away in sadness from the Lord who beheld him with love.

Our vocations differ, whether to be priests and religious or laity, single or married. In order to respond wholeheartedly to each of these callings some things must be left behind so that one can make room for God in one's heart and mind.

"Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and everyone, and bids them "renounce all that [they have]" for his sake and that of the Gospel. (Lk 14:33; cf. Mk 8:35.) Shortly before his passion he gave them the example of the poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on. (Cf. Lk 21:4) The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven." (CCC 2544)

The gift of vocation is both for one's own sanctity and for others, that all may see God. All are to practice some form of detachment in their use of the things of this world, for the God who gave this world and all it holds calls us to himself by means of these things.

"All Christ's faithful are to 'direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty.' " (LG 42, art. 3) (CCC 2545)

" 'How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God.' (Mk 10, 23)
The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods. (Lk 6, 24) 'Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.' (St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte.) Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow. (Cf. Mt 6:25-34) Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God." (CCC 2547)

"Peter began to say to him, 'Lo, we have left everything to follow you.' Jesus said, 'Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.' " (Mk 10, 28-30)

Married men and women leave behind the pursuit of wealth and material things to love and support the gift of children should God so bless them. Priests leave behind wife and family to work singleheartedly for the Kingdom in the Church. Men and women religious renounce all personal money and property as well as marriage in order to follow Christ most perfectly in this life.

Let us pray that all may follow their vocations with generosity and joy, and for ourselves that we may hear the Lord when he calls us and be prepared to generously follow him.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Fr. Cusick (See also CCC 1618, 1858, 2728. )

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy (Publish with permission.)

Art: George Frederic Watts`For he had great possessions', 1894, Tate Collection.

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