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Monday, August 17, 2020

Reflection 2020-08-18 Tuesday 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 28:1-10; Deuteronomy 32; Matthew 19:23-30
In the First Reading, God speaks to a Gentile through Ezekiel. This proves that God’s dominion is not limited to any physical location, but he is God of all nations. The King of Tyre thinks he is a god and prides himself of his wisdom which resulted in great wealth for his kingdom. This affluence results in arrogance and God says he will cause strangers to come to Tyre and defile your splendor. They shall thrust you down to the Pit, and you shall die a violent death in the heart of the sea.
This is happening today. We prospered and have forgotten God. We play with nature, we redefine what is natural. We defy God. But when a microscopic virus brought the world to its knees, people panic because they fear death. While we need to take precaution, there is an overreaction to the threat. It is surprising that people who want death on demand are scared of death.
This is the natural result of those who think they are in control: when something comes that they cannot control, they run in fear because whatever they trusted (ie. themselves, science, etc) have failed them. They think they control life and death, but the Responrial Psalm tells us God is the One who deals death and life.
This is why Jesus says in the Gospel today: it is hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus stresses this again by saying: again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
While Jesus may be referring to those who are materially wealthy, this also covers those who do not trust in God, those who are full of themselves. Jesus says it is hard so it means it is still possible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus shows us how: for mortals it is impossible, but for God, all things are possible. To be rich is to trust in things other than God. We can only correct this perspective through the grace of God. If I want to enter the kingdom of God, I need to honestly look at myself for who I am: I am nothing before God. I do not have all the answers, I am not in control of my life. God is the One who rules my life whether I admit it or not.
This humility before God allows us to see ourselves as we are resulting in trust in God. This requires cooperating with the grace of God.
Are you scared of what the future holds? Are you afraid of the uncertainties you face? The only way to go past these is to empty yourself to God. Surrender all you have to him. Offer it to the Lord and let him do what he wills. Trust God.
Lord, let me realize who I am: I am a mortal being who cannot control my life. I may accumulate wealth by my own wisdom, but let me acknowledge you are the source of all the wisdom I have. Let me see myself as I am before you and acknowledge you as Lord of my life. I repent Lord and allow you to do to me as you will.

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