Sunday, October 10
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Wisdom 7,7-11.
I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne, And deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; Because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, And I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands;
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us,
For the years when we saw evil.
Let your work be seen by your servants
And your glory by their children.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
Letter to the Hebrews 4,12-13.
The word of God is 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.
No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 10,17-30.
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.'”
He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to (the) poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “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.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”
Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily on Today’s Gospel (Mark 10:17-27), October 11th, 2009
The Saint is exactly that man, that woman, who, responding with joy and generosity to Christ’s call, leaves everything to follow him. Like Peter and the other Apostles, …the Saints have also run this demanding yet fulfilling Gospel itinerary and have already received “a hundred fold” in this life, together with trials and persecutions, and then eternal life.
Jesus, therefore, can truly guarantee a happy existence and eternal life, but by a route different from what the rich young man imagines: that is, not through a good work, a legal tribute, but rather in the choice of the Kingdom of God as the “precious pearl” for which it is worth selling all that one possesses (cf. Mt MT 13,45-46).
The rich youth is not able to take this step. Notwithstanding that he has been the object of the loving gaze of Jesus (cf. Mk MC 10,21), his heart is not able to detach itself from the many goods that he possessed.
Thus comes the teaching for the disciples: “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God!” (MC 10,23).
Earthly riches occupy and preoccupy the mind and the heart. Jesus does not say they are bad, but that they distance one from God if they are not, so to speak, “invested” for the Kingdom of Heaven, spent, that is, to come to the help of those who are poor.
Understanding this is the fruit of that wisdom of which the First Reading speaks. As we were told, she is more precious than silver or gold, and more beautiful, healthy and full of light, “because her radiance never ceases” (SG 7,10).
Obviously, this wisdom cannot be reduced merely to an intellectual dimension. It is much more; it is “the Wisdom of the heart”, as it is called in Psalm 89. It is a gift from on high (cf. Jas JC 3,17), from God, and is obtained by prayer (cf. Wis SG 7,7).
In fact, it has not remained distant from man; it has come close to his heart (cf. Dt DT 30,14), taking form in the law of the First Covenant between God and Israel through Moses.
The Wisdom of God is contained in the Decalogue. This is why Jesus affirms in the Gospel that to “enter into life” it is necessary to observe the commandments (cf. Mk MC 10,19). It is necessary, but not sufficient!
In fact, as St Paul says, salvation does not come from the law, but from Grace. And St John recalls that the law was given by Moses, while Grace and Truth come by means of Jesus Christ (cf. Jn JN 1,17).
To reach salvation one must therefore be open in faith to the grace of Christ, who, however, when addressed, places a demanding condition: “Come, follow me” (MC 10,21).
The Saints have had the humility and the courage to respond “yes”, and they have renounced all to be his friends.