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One Hundred Fold
Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
Opening Prayer: Lord, here I am. Show me your face; show me your love for me. I know that without you I am nothing, and yet you want to give me everything. I want to love you—teach me how. Whether you want to console me or challenge me, I’m here to listen.
- Tough Love: This Gospel is a hard Gospel. It can be tempting to try to rationalize it, to say that Matthew is talking about spiritual poverty, but Christ’s words are very clear: “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.” Of course, it’s not that Christ measures out his love based on our degree of poverty—he is not so legalistic. No, Christ is warning us: having material wealth can lead to attachments that may distract us from loving God and loving our neighbor. Prudence and temperance are virtues that can help us to live in comfortable circumstances without becoming trapped by them.
- With God, All Things Are Possible: We might be wealthy and obsessed with staying that way, or poor and inordinately desirous of being wealthy. Either way, our soul is seeking not God but mammon (Matthew 6:24). To enter through the needle’s eye, our spiritual disposition should be like that of Saint Paul: “I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me” (Philippians 4:12-13).
- One Hundred Fold: For Christians who try to live an ascetic life, offering our sufferings in union with Christ’s on the Cross, this Gospel promise is very consoling. Even those sacrifices we made ten, twenty, or more years ago have been remembered, and are still treasured by Our Lord. He never forgets, and he promises us a generous reward. We don’t even have to wait for heaven to receive many of the benefits of living for Christ. He sends us peace, joy, love, and more, plus eternal life.
Conversing with Christ: God, thank you for taking the time to be with me, speak with me, and give me your grace. Thank you for calling me to a true relationship with you—lead me today wherever you want.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take a moment to pray about how you want me to live poverty.
For Further Reflection: Pope Francis speaks frequently about poverty and our common duty towards one another. Bishop Barron gives a good explanation of what the Pope is saying about poverty and stewardship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=iGCcDH9Mp4w.
Written by Br. Riley Connors.