August 21, 2012
St. Pius X, Pope
Matthew 19: 23-30
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
The Cause for Happiness
Why are people like Jean Vanier so darn happy? By all accounts he lives a very simple life. Most of his work through the L’Arche communities is with the mentally disabled, a task which many people from the outside would think to be difficult. He does not possess the goods of wealth or family which many would consider to be constitutive of a contented life. Yet anyone meeting him would agree: he is an extremely happy and peace-filled man.
Jean Vanier is happy because he is reaping the hundredfold. Not the hundredfold of fine wines and cigars, but the hundredfold of love. His work with the mentally disabled has introduced him to a deeper meaning of love. And the work goes hand-in-hand with his relationship to God, the fountain and source of all love. Loving the world, he knows the world in a deeper way. He sees the world and human relations as a gift from God which is higher than all material acquisition. Knowing the world in love, he possesses all things worth having. And therefore he is happy.
—Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J.
Lord, when people get close to dying, it is then easy to focus on what really matters. As the patriot Patrick Henry prepared for his death, he wrote: “I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them and that is faith in Jesus Christ. If they had that and I had not given them a single shilling, they would have been rich; and if they had not that, and I had given them all the world, they would be poor indeed.”
Lord, let us be your presence this day. Give us the wisdom and the grace to discern what we need to surrender to you. Grant us the courage to trust in you and to look forward to the details of this day with renewed hope.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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