Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.
 

Sunday 14th October 2018
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Wisdom 7: 7-11     Hebrews 4: 12-13     Mark 10: 17-30

Rolling In It…

“A pot of gold may come your way… but don’t sit here and dream all day” is just what you’d expect on a tea-towel bought at the seaside. But most of us do dream about what would happen if money were no object. We fill our minds with ideas about travelling the world, buying a luxury home and car, and never again having to worry about paying bills. This is harmless enough. There’s nothing wrong with money or riches. It’s simply that riches can make it harder for us to see and live by the values of the kingdom of God.

When the rich young man went away from Jesus without becoming one of his followers, it wasn’t simply because he was a man of great wealth. His money was only part of the problem. The other part of the problem was his attachment to his riches, and his lack of trust in Jesus that prevented him from launching out on a life without the security of his possessions.

It’s a problem most of us would love to have! So much money that we didn’t know what to do… But the young man’s dilemma faces us too. There are things in our lives we cling to so much that they keep us from following Christ as we know we should. Perhaps it really is an attachment to money. Maybe we don’t give to good causes because we don’t like to see our bank accounts going down. Or we may insist on two holidays a year, changing our car regularly, decorating annually and always having new furnishings.

Of course, it might not be money. It might be reputation, position or a drive for success. We may be so hell-bent on being President of the County Gardening Association that we never consider giving our time to visiting the sick. Winning the Pigeon Fanciers’ Trophy may be so important to our sense of pride that we would not consider giving up time to teach an adult to read, join a faith discussion group or support the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Money, success, status and possessions are all part of life. They are neither good nor bad. It all depends on how we use them and where we put our priorities. When Jesus saw the rich young man he could tell that something was missing. He said that the man lacked one thing: detachment. Although he had kept all the commandments from birth, he could not give up the safety net of his possessions, the buying power of his cash, or the reputation that went with being a wealthy man. His money was on his mind, and it became the currency which blocked his path to God.

There’s something of that rich young man in each of us. What do we put in the way of giving ourselves fully to God? What obstacles do we create as excuses for our slow response to Jesus? What is the currency of our caution?

 

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Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2018