MAY 25, 2015
MONDAY, 8TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
First Reading: Sirach 17:24-27, 29
Gospel: Mark 10:17-27
Just as Jesus was setting out on his journey again, a man ran up, knelt before him and asked, “Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? NO one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: D not kill, do not commit adultery, do nto steal, do not bear false witness, do not cheat, honor your father and mother.” The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commandments since my childhood.”
Then Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him and he said, “For you, one thing is lacking. Go, sell what you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.” On hearing these words, his face fell and he went away sorrowful for he was a man fo great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were more astonished than ever and wondered, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked steadily at them and said, “For humans it is impossible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The condemnation of the rich is one absolute truth that history refused to take hook line and sinker. Many theories have been advanced to rationalize this sweeping statement of Jesus that it is easier for a camel to pass through a needles’ eye than for the rich to enter heaven. One theory is that the eye of a needle refers to the city gate of Jerusalem which was too narrow for camels to enter. Another is the ‘gamla’ theory.
Dr. George Lamsa, in his book entitled Gospel Light clarifies that the Aramaic word “gamla” can mean camel, a large rope, or a beam. Because “gamla” had three meanings, its usage had to be taken in context. When Jesus used it within the context of the use of a needle, he couldn’t have referred to a camel but to a rope. The contrary would lead to absurdity because a camel has no analogical relation to a thread that passes through a needle’s eye (www.eyeofaneedle.net). The Jerome Biblical Commentary, however, notes that the grotesque image of a camel entering a needle’s eye drives home the point that “it is practically impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom”, and that the “rope- for- camel” theory and the “narrow gate” theory are attempts at blunting the hyperbole.
Jesus did not use the word “impossible”. He merely said it is “hard” for the rich to enter heaven. Wealth is not an absolute hindrance to salvation. Jesus even said, “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Lk. 16:9). – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: email@example.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, make us hunger for your presence so that earthly treasures may not distract us from our eternal destiny. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. VENERABLE BEDE, the only English Doctor of the church, was born at Jarow, England in 673. He was known as the Venerable on account of his holiness. At the age of seven, he entered the Monastery of Sts. Peter and Paul at Wearmouth. He was under the care of Abbot Benedict. Except for a few visits to other monasteries, his life was spent in a round of prayer, observance of the monastic discipline, and the study of the Sacred Scriptures. He spent the last 40 days of his life translating the Gospel of St. John into English. When the last passage had been translated he said: All is finished. He died in 735.