On Seeking Royal Riches
Malvern Minute

 

August 22, 2017 – Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (19:23-30)

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 men 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.”

 

Reflect: Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. At first glance, it appears that Jesus is aligning eternal life with income levels. It couldn’t be further from the truth. At the same time, however, he is giving us a lesson about the importance of seeking him and the Kingdom of God before anything else. The challenge for many of us, particularly in the consumeristic society of the first world, is that we often judge ourselves and others based on income as well as the number and kind of material goods that we possess. Jesus is making it clear that we can easily fall into the trap of finding our hope and security in things rather than in a relationship with him.  Today’s feast, the Queenship of Blessed Virgin Mary, puts an exclamation point on the need for complete trust and abandonment to God. We see in Mary that holiness means depending on God. Mary invites us to practice obedience to God in a way that results not in submission, but likeness. She shows us that royalty is based not on rank or earthly inheritance, but rather on having a heart like hers: cleansed from sin, immaculate, and “so worthy to be in union with God” (Saint Maximilian Kolbe). In fact, as we turn to Mary, she tirelessly intercedes for us so that our lives may be drawn closer to God; she desires that we have docile, receptive hearts, so that we can experience the richness of countless graces when we collaborate more and more perfectly with the will of God. “Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” In whom do we trust?

Questions: In whom and in what do I trust? What do I use as my compass, my guide, in life? Am I willing to put everything at the feet of Jesus so as to experience the richness of his grace and blessing? Will I let the Lord determine where and how my gifts should best be used so that all that I do will be for his honor and glory and the advancement of his Kingdom on earth?

Pray: Loving God, I often struggle to trust you completely. Please give me the grace to look to you and your ways as my goal in life. Help me to seek to prosper in your love and mercy. May my first and primary desire in life always be to be united with you.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Mary, Queen of heaven and earth: Pray for us!

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