When we see someone who is rich, we feel that the person is blessed. He has found favor with God and that is why all the blessings occur. Further, he always connotes material blessings with happiness.
That too was the thinking of the Jews during the time of Jesus: material possessions equal happiness equals life eternal.
In St. Matthew’s Gospel, the Jews were shocked to find out that this was not the case. “It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Further, the formula of Jesus for eternal life was, “Whatever you did to the least ones, you did unto me.” Hence, possessions are meant to be shared and not accumulated.
My dear friends, three things that could help us so that we may learn to let go of our possessions. Or simply put, that we possess our possessions and not for our possessions to possess us.
- We came into this world with nothing. It is the same as when we will be leaving it. Hence, the possessions that we have are only lent to us because God has a plan, a purpose, and a mission for us.
- To whom much is given, much is required. If the Lord blesses us abundantly, that only means that our calling, purpose, or mission calls for such. Certainly, the biggest challenge here is the bigger the blessing, the bigger the temptation to accumulate for oneself.
- Happiness is when we share and not when we keep the blessing to ourselves. Everyone who knows how to share would swear by this – that the happiness is in the giving and not in accumulating. The joy of making a difference in other people’s lives comes back to us.
My dear friends, the Gospel reminds us to pursue eternal life. The pursuit of eternal life starts NOW – how we use and share our material blessings.