Jesus’s encounter with the rich man in today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Mark 10:17-30 is of great importance to us because we live in a consumerist culture and world where riches, power and status is revered over Christian virtues. With these words, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God," Jesus reminds us of the dangers of undue attachment to earthly possessions including power, fame and fortune to the detriment of acquiring everlasting goods. Jesus with these same words tells us that the prerequisite for attaining the kingdom of heaven is detachment from earthly things or possessions. Remember Jesus did not say that His disciples should not possess earthly goods rather He emphasized to them not to allow the earthly goods to take hold of their lives and they forget to acquire heavenly goods that will lead them to attain the kingdom of heaven.

Detachment from these earthly possessions frees us to concentrate more on our love for God and others as emphasized in the Decalogue or Ten Commandments. Hence unless we give up our greed for earthly wealth and make these available for the poor, the depraved and the needy or abandon our cravings for power and fame and be ready to serve, we cannot be true disciples of Christ nor attain the kingdom of heaven.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, it is time to deem riches as nothing in comparison to wisdom, as we heard in today’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom 7:7-11 so as to inherit eternal life. It is time to truly detach ourselves from earthly goods or possessions that distract us from focusing on God and attach ourselves firmly to God. So let us accept the word of God as living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart as our second reading today from the Letter to the Hebrews 4:12-13 reminds us. Amen!