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Redistributing Wealth: An Imperative!

Fr Justin Dyikuk

ShikrotMpwi – Sunday Synopsis with Fr. Justine J. Dyikuk

28th Sunday of the Year, B – October 10, 2021.

Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11; Ps 89:12-17; Hebrews 4:12-13 & Gospel – Mark 10:17-30.

Theme – Redistributing Wealth: An Imperative!

Sunday Synopsis

The first reading which demonstrates the superiority of Jewish wisdom over pagan wisdom, personifies Wisdom as God who cannot be equated with riches, gold, silver, health, beauty or light. In the second reading, the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews insists that since nothing is hidden from the Lord, we shall give an account of our lives before God. In the gospel, Jesusexplicitly warns against putting out trust on fame and fortune. The liturgy challenges us on the cost of discipleship and the need to redistribute wealth towards a just and equitable society.

Introduction

Friends in Christ, our liturgy today challenges us on the need to check our fixation on material possessions and make concerted efforts at redistributing the earth’s resources for the good of all. Our reflection shall consider practical lessons in the light of the cost of discipleship and redistributing wealth.

Background & Summary of the Readings

The first reading (Wisdom 7:7-11) which was written hundreds of years after the death of Solomon presumably after the Babylonian exile was meant to demonstrate the superiority of Jewish wisdom over pagan wisdom. The author addresses both Jews and Gentiles. He personifies Wisdom as God who cannot be equated with riches, gold, silver, health, beauty or light. The author also compares possessing wisdom with a healthy relationship with God.

In the second reading, the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews (Heb. 4:12-13) insists that since nothing is hidden from the Lord, we shall give an account of our lives before God. The reading presupposes that our secret emotions and thoughts are crucial to our relationship with God.

In the gospel (Gospel – Mark 10:17-30), Jesusexplicitly warns against putting out trust on fame and fortune. He speaks to the rich young man “plainly about the real obstacle that wealth presents.” He maintains that it is easier for a Carmel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter into heaven. On the question of what is their reward, Jesus emphasizes that all those who left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land and face persecution for his sake and for the sake of the gospel will receive a hundred times, all these things, in this life and the next.

Pastoral Lessons

  1. Seek Wisdom: Like King Solomon, our liturgy charges us to seek wisdom above silver and gold because it personifies God who alone is to be worshiped and gloried.
  2. Watch against the Killers of the Kingdom:Church leaders are charged to teach the flock how to pursue wisdom through discernment and prayer while emphasizing on the need to watch against the killers of the kingdom namely attachment to fame, fortune and family over and above God.
  3. Serve the Lord with an Undivided Heart:Jesus challenges priests and religious to scan their call to discipleship on the demands of the evangelical counsel of poverty seeing it as a call to renounce mundane interests so as to serve the Lord with an undivided heart.
  4. Shun the Dangers of Riches: Since wealth is considered as a blessing from God and not a curse in itself except if it is used unselfishly, Jesus makes an allowance for the rich by stating that all things are possible for God (Mark 10:27) which imply that they too can enter heaven if they shun the dangers of riches which include, attachment (where a man’s treasure is, there is his heart, Cf. Matthew 6:21), greed (as in the case of Gihazi, Cf. 2 Kings 5:15-27 and Ananias and Sapphira Cf. Acts 5:1-11) and pride.
  5. Redistribute Wealth: Jesus urges the rich, civil authorities and charity organisations to change their relationship with the poor by identifying them in order to redistribute wealth even as they participate in economic justice and handing power over to their poor beneficiaries for the common good of the human society.

Summary Lines

  1. [The first reading] demonstrates the superiority of Jewish wisdom over pagan wisdom.
  2. In the second reading, the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews insists that since nothing is hidden from the Lord, we shall give an account of our lives before God.
  3. The reading presupposes that our secret emotions and thoughts…are crucial to our relationship with God.
  4. In the gospel, Jesusexplicitlywarns against putting out trust on fame and fortune.

5.He [Jesus] speaks to the rich young man “plainly about the real obstacle that wealth presents.”

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the rich who are extremely determined to enter the kingdom will make it. Suffice to note that the poor who are not determined to make heaven may end up in hell. To this end, we are challenged to make available our gifts and talents for the good of the earth. We pray, therefore, at this Holy Mass that God assists us with Wisdom so as not to be entrapped by fame and fortune but may make what we have and are a living sacrifice pleasing to the Lord

(Cf. Romans 12:1) . Have a terrific week!

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