Daily Thought For August 21, 2018
With God All Things Are Possible!
“… for God all things are possible.…”
The disciples are clearly startled when Jesus tells them that the rich have such a difficult time entering the kingdom of God. It was commonly believed that riches were a sign of God’s blessing or favor on the person—“Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in God’s commands … Wealth and riches shall be in their homes; their prosperity shall endure forever” (Ps 112:1, 3). Jesus’ saying contradicts a culturally accepted belief. When the disciples hear it, they are probably thinking, “If it’s that difficult for someone whom we believe enjoys God’s blessing to enter God’s kingdom, then we don’t have a prayer.”
It is more difficult for those who are wealthy to trust in God. Their money, or the possessions that their wealth can afford, can become their idol. This idol can easily become the source of their ethics; they are driven to hoard instead of to give, to treat people as a means to increase their wealth, and so forth. Jesus, however, states that the economy of the kingdom of heaven is different. Those who are able to give up material possessions, land, or loved ones for the sake of the kingdom of God will inherit eternal life. They are the ones who populate the kingdom of God. The economy of the kingdom is inverted—those who give away will receive what cannot be purchased: salvation. Therefore, a person’s net worth is valued not by what is earned, but by what is given away. This is the economy of the kingdom of God because this is how God acts. The kingdom itself is a gift—given by God. It cannot be purchased; it has no price tag attached. It is impossible for anyone to attain it on one’s own because the kingdom of God is unattainable. It is a pure gift that, in order to be possessed, must be given and received.
Jesus, I am so used to getting what I need by hard work, by setting goals and pursuing them. It is difficult for me to understand any other way of achieving what I desire. Help me to understand, by the gift of your Spirit, that you invite me to accept your kingdom as a gift, not to achieve it as a prize or possession. Enlighten me to know what you are inviting me to give up for the sake of the kingdom. For that act of giving up may open to me the possibility of understanding the economy of your kingdom. Amen.
Jesus, what is impossible for me is possible for you.
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 50–51). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.