READINGS: Wis. 7:7-11 / Heb. 4:12-13 / Mark 10:17-30
Theme: Beyond Wealth and Health
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
When God asked the young King Solomon what he wanted, the king asked for WISDOM. And because this request pleased the Lord God, He blessed the king with not only WISDOM, but WEALTH, HEALTH, POWER and HONOUR as well (1 Kings 3:5-12). Subsequently, the king, excited about the blessings his request for WISDOM had brought him, composed the poem [today’s first reading]:
And so I prayed, and understanding was given me; I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
I esteemed her more than kingdoms and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing.
I reckoned no precious stone to be her equal, for compared with her, all gold is a pinch of sand, and beside her, silver ranks as mud.
I loved her more than health or beauty, preferred her to the light, since her radiance never sleeps.
In her company all good things came to me, and at her hands incalculable wealth (Wis. 7:7-11).
Thus, in the story of King Solomon, we learn that wisdom is not only beyond wealth and health, but that the latter accompany the former as we would expect servants to accompany their master or mistress.
Beloved, similarly, in the story of the encounter of the rich man with Jesus Christ, who is greater than Solomon (Mt. 12:42), we learn about the ultimate thing which far surpasses wealth – ETERNAL LIFE (today’s gospel reading). Eternal Life or life in the kingdom of heaven does not only supersede human wisdom, wealth, health, etc., it actually gives us true wisdom, wealth, health, etc. from above: ‘seek you first the kingdom of heaven and all other things shall be added unto it’ (Mt. 6:33).
Hence, the Lord Jesus assured Peter and His followers who (in contrast to the rich man who did not give up his wealth) had left everything to seek the kingdom of heaven in Him:
Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life eternal (Mk. 10:29-30).
Beloved the good news is that you and I have also been assured ETERNAL LIFE by the Lord. [Read further the homily on the theme, ‘ETERNAL LIFE ASSURANCE’]
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis