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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Do you cling to material possessions or are you able to detach yourself easily to help others? - Daily Reflections August 18,2015


THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE
 
“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven.”
       A camel passing through the eye of a needle? Impossible! Does it mean that a rich person cannot enter heaven? Surely not. Jesus also had rich friends.
       I came to understand this passage one day in Jerusalem. At the entrance to the Temple Mount, there is an old huge green gate that leads to the ancient Temple area. In this huge gate is a small door, just tall enough for a man to pass through. This small door was called “eye of the needle.”
       When, for example, a merchant arrived with his loaded camel late in the evening, the city gate would already have been closed. To open the gate was dangerous because an enemy may be lurking nearby, waiting for the gate to be opened. The merchant would then unload the luggage from his camel, let it kneel, and push it through the narrow door. So, the camel was able to pass through the “eye of the needle” because the owner took away the luggage first.
       The problem with a rich person is that there is no one to “unburden” him from his wealth. He often cannot detach himself from what hinders him from entering the Kingdom of God. We remember the rich young man we met in yesterday’s Gospel!
       Jesus had rich friends. Think of Nicodemus who could afford to have a new tomb carved inside a rock. But when he saw Jesus dying on the cross, he did not hesitate to offer this tomb to bury Jesus — not knowing, of course, that Jesus would rise on the third day. Or we hear about Mary Magdalene and some rich women who left home to travel with Jesus and support Him and His disciples out of their means.
       Both Nicodemus and the women were able to detach themselves and so “passed through the eye of the needle.” Why not follow their example? Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
 
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you cling to material possessions or are you able to detach yourself easily to help others?
 
Lord, You are the best example of detachment. You left the glory of heaven and became one of us to save us. Thank You for Your example and grant me the grace to imitate You.

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