Our first reading this weekend is again taken from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In the passage we hear, he again reminds the Corinthians and us that he has preached the Lord crucified and risen from the dead. He also states that he himself saw the resurrected Christ. He then states this: “by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor of His to me has not proved fruitless”.
I believe that this has a very important and poignant message for us. We must be able to look at ourselves in a mirror and say exactly what Paul said – I am what I am by God’s favor.
I is critical, I have found, that we have a true appreciation for who we are. Why? Because it is by the grace of God that we are who we are. In some mysterious way, God chose us to be who we are in order that His creation could be complete. We must have a true respect for this fact and feel in our heart of hearts that we are His creation and that what He created He found good. I would remind my readers that if we find that we cannot love ourselves, we cannot love others.
Our second reading, taken from Matthew’s Gospel, relates what Jesus said to the man who asked Jesus this question: “what good must I do to possess everlasting life?” After Jesus states several of the commandments and the young man says: “I have kept all these; what do I need to do further?” Jesus then says, “If you seek perfection, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven”.
The clear message is that the things of this world can become true obstacles to spiritual growth since they seem to have the power to seduce people into becoming attached to them. When we become too attached to things of this world, we see to forget the things of the Kingdom. It seems that “things” have a natural impact on many people and it is easy to become true “slaves” to the things that we own.
Often attachment to the things of this world bespeak of a person desire to control life since they realize, at some level, that life is unpredictable and, of course, uncontrollable. We quickly forget that we can’t take the things of this world with us when we die.