Tuesday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Tuesday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time

August 18, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 28:1-10

Psalm – Deuteronomy 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab

Matthew 19:23-30

 

I suspect that many of us read the excerpt from Ezekiel and see someone other than ourselves as the prince of Tyre.   Surely we can’t be the ones the Lord is addressing.  We aren’t as rich, or as successful, or as haughty, or intelligent, or vain, or arrogant, or blasphemous as (insert the name of someone you envy here.)  Even though THEY act like a god, WE don’t assume we are god-like.  Maybe we would like to have the opportunity to try living like a prince or princess (or even a corporate CEO or a professional athlete,) but we don’t see ourselves in their shoes.   When Jesus cautions the rich man about the difficulties he faces in entering the Kingdom of god, well, again we see our poverty and how we fall short of this person’s material “treasures” and think surely Jesus isn’t talking about us.

But Ezekiel and Jesus are talking to each of us.  The prince of Tyre sinned not by being rich, or even in how he became rich, but in how he came to believe in his own entitlement.  His riches were in gold and silver.  He came by these gifts as if they were his by right.  He also identified himself as “inseparable from his current status.”  As a result of all of this he could not separate his identify from these gifts, his feeling of entitlement led to thinking himself as “god-like.” 

What of us who do not have the prince’s level of wealth?  How can the Ezekiel story apply to us?  When we become too attached to ANY gift that we have in this world we run the same risk.  We become unable to separate our identity from the gift which is a temporary possession.  We sometimes think of “treasure” as only things of wealth, things we can touch, things we can park in our garage.  All of the “treasures” we possess can become a hindrance to our journey back to God if we become so identified with them that we fail to discern God’s will in providing them to us.  Jesus hints at this in the ending part of the Gospel narrative as we learn that everyone who has “given up” for His sake will receive eternal life.  Not just given up the material goods, but given up spouses, children, parents or anything that keeps us from coming back to God as we journey through this life.

Question of the Day:  Will you ask for the grace to discern what gifts you have and why God has blessed them to you, and are you using them as God calls you to do?

Prayer:  “Take Lord, and receive all my liberty.  My memory, my understanding, my entire will, all that I have and possess.  You have given all these to me, to You O Lord I restore them.  All are yours, dispose of them all according to Your will.  Give me Your love and Your grace, for that is enough for me.  Amen.”  (Suscipe (receive) of Saint Ignatius.) 

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

 Prosit  

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