“If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21).
Religiosity without charity amounts to mere lip service before God. It is not enough that we keep God’s commandments, we must also ensure that we do not make a god of our material possessions.
If we cannot give out what we have, if we cannot help the less privileged, if we do not care about the poor, it simply means the things we have are the gods we worship.
The key to generosity is knowing where one’s security lies. Where exactly is my security? My bank account? My name? My friends? My job description? Or my God. The truth is that if my security lies in anything material, I am bound to become stingy knowing that the source of my security will not last forever.
The young man walked away sorrowful because he could not imagine life without his possessions. He felt that without his money, without his expensive clothes, shoes, gold and diamonds, without his mansions, without his oil wells and so on, he would die.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of this young man and allow the words of Jesus resound once again in your ears: “If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you possess and give to the poor.”
Are you going to walk away? Are you going to bluff over this message and go about your normal day to day activities? Or are you going to take an excursion to your wardrobe and bring out clothes you no longer need so that you can clothe some poor persons who cannot afford such?
That the bible recorded the sorrowful disposition of this young man shows that in truth, attachment to what this world has to offer only brings sorrow, pain and sadness. There is nothing in this world that is capable of bringing us lasting happiness as much as God can give to us. There is nothing in this world we cannot do without, because in the first place we all came to this world naked and empty from our mothers’ womb.
True freedom is the willingness to risk losing everything we have because we know that God alone is our security. Shun idolatry, stop worshipping your properties. You were born without them and you can still survive without them. Let go and Let God.
Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Bernard, an Abbot and one of the Doctors of the Church. He is called a doctor because his writings have been found worthy of consumption and free from any doctrinal error. As our opening prayer says of him, St. Bernard was a man consumed with zeal for God’s house and a light shining and burning in the church.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace of inner freedom. Amen
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ezekiel 24:15-24, Deut. 32:18-21, Matthew 19:16-22).