28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Oct 25, 2018
From the Desk of Father Tharp
As is the case every year, during the month of October we will count the people attending Mass at our parishes. Special attention to weekly attendance at your home parish or pastoral region is paramount during this month.
Priests’ Convocation Thursday, October 18
Thursday, October 18 is the annual Convocation of Priests called by the Archbishop. All active Archdiocesan priests are required to attend. I will celebrate the usual morning Masses at both parishes, but this day will NOT be available for a funeral or emergency administration of the Sacrament of the Sick. Please be advised.
Reflection on Scripture
“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” (Mark 10:25) Some scripture scholars believe the “eye of needle” was the name of a service entrance or gate in the wall around Jerusalem. In other words, Jesus was alluding to a landmark everyone would have known. Scholars similarly conjecture that it was a slender oblong gate requiring a camel to kneel and have some baggage removed so he could get through the gate. Many other equally well respected scripture scholars contend that Jesus meant a “sewing needle” which would validate the statement of the apostles, “Then who can be saved?” (Mark 10: 26) This is one of those scriptural puzzles that may never be determined with absolute accuracy. Regardless of whether this reference was to a landmark or hyperbole, the fact remains that Jesus was saying that wealth can erode your complete affection for and reliance on God.
Wealth can easily become the “devil’s fly paper.” As we rely on wealth for security, we erode our reliance on God. Like fly paper, wealth can attach itself to us so we cannot extricate ourselves from it when God calls.
Does this mean it is “bad” to possess things? No, not at all; so long as they do not possess us! The old adage rings true, “Love people and use things.” If we love things and use people, we are acting contrary to the program downloaded to us by our creator. Owning people is a sin (slavery). Owning things is morally irrelevant, and only becomes a moral issue as to how we use what God has allowed to possess. Do we use our wealth to love other people? Or do we fall in love with and become entrapped by what we own, so that it ends up owning us? Neither poverty nor wealth are virtuous in and of themselves. Each becomes morally valuable or decrepit depending on how we use them.
Next Weekend: Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Theme: Authority is validated only by service.