Today’s Gospel must be understood in the aftermath of yesterday’s regarding the young man who did not want to give up his possessions. The disciples were taken aback by what happened: in the mentality of the time, material wealth was a sign of having the blessing of God, and Our Lord told the young man that it was an obstacle to attaining eternal life. We can succumb to the same mentality today: we think that if we are successful, healthy, and worry-free, God is blessing us. Those are gifts to be thankful for, but problems and difficulties are gifts as well, because they help us to imitate Christ through taking up our cross to follow him. That’s the lesson Our Lord is trying to teach us today.
If Our Lord asks us to separate ourselves from our loved ones, our possessions, or our country for his sake, he promises that we will be blessed a hundred fold and inherit eternal life. This is not just an investment with a promise of a good return; it is a promise that those people and places that we love will also be blessed through our sacrifice. We becomes part of a larger family that does not exclude the biological family from which we must spend time apart, and we are promised a greater home than we could have ever imagined, our true home: Heaven.
Let’s not be shy about separating from the people we love if Our Lord asks it of us, knowing that it will not only be an act of love for him, but a blessing for our loved ones as well.
Readings: Judges 6:11–24a; Psalm 85:9, 11–14; Matthew 19:23–30.