Wealth and Heaven
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Hey everybody! This gospel sort of reminds me of me back in the day. Hmmmmm…
Ready? Let’s do it.
Gospel Mark 10:17-30
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
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.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
Peter began to say to him,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”
That’s a long one, kind of heavy. I feel bad for that rich guy. I mean he’s observing all the commandments. Hey, I am doing what you’re telling me to do with the exception of maybe using the money that I’ve been blessed with to help the poor. Now Jesus asks him to sell all that you have and give it to the poor and come follow me. Come join us in this community we will be able to supply what you need among each other. Go … do it … that’s the one thing that you need to do. And he walked away sad. That would be me. I’d be like, “Come on man. I don’t want to walk away from all this stuff. I love my life. I love my things!”
But are things what we are really idolizing now? Are we idolizing our cars, our houses, our boats, all these things that this culture says makes us happy? Or are we actually really well off and wealthy and doing something good with that money as well? It’s not bad to have things. It is not bad to live a good life, but having more and more and more stuff doesn’t make you any holier or gets you closer to Heaven. As a matter of fact, probably the opposite. If you’re in abundance with your finances and wealth, do something good with it. Take care of the poor, donate, start a not-for-profit, make God proud.
When I look at my life and that the fact that I walked away from an executive career, which is some money guys, it’s not chump change that I walked away from, I realized money doesn’t matter. I’m super blessed with the lifestyle that I’ve led and my husband is so amazing and supportive as I start down a new path.
But my meaning and my purpose are here now.
I was just working because of money. I think that’s what we think makes us happy—and it doesn’t. Sure, it helps to live a lifestyle that you want and you don’t have to worry about finances, that’s great, but it doesn’t make you any happier than the person who doesn’t have that money. And in some cases, it’s a bad thing. You’ve seen those lottery shows where people ruin their lives because of that money.
The bottom line, we cannot get ourselves to Heaven, we cannot buy our way there, we cannot donate our way there. God has to get us there. God needs a relationship with you. You need a relationship with God and then everything that you have, whether it’s financial or otherwise on this earth is now meaningful and purpose driven. We all want meaning in this life. The only one who knows why you’re here is God, so why don’t you ask Him and follow Him and
live the way He wants you to live.
If you are blessed with a little bit of extra money this week, donate it to a cause that’s close to your heart. Quite frankly, if it’s your parish or your church, they could probably use some as well, but if you’ve got some extra money hanging around, do something good with it. And then ask God what you’re supposed to do with the rest of your life. Do you continue down this path of your career or does he have a different calling for you? And then ask him for the courage, the courage to lead the life that he wants you to lead.
Alrighty—thank you so much for your time again this week. I hope you have a blessed and inspired day. Take care.