The Eye of the Needle

6vs1q4go1mdabh35c1qtsldqs.1000x976x1Every time I publish one of these blog posts in which I talk about my spiritual life, I’m uncomfortable. After all, who am I to feel like I have anything to tell anyone about being a good and faithful servant of God? Attending a Catholic school from Kindergarten through 12th grade certainly doesn’t give me the necessary credibility. Especially since I was sent to the principal’s office on more than one occasion because my uniform skirt didn’t meet the necessary guidelines, i.e., touching the floor when kneeling at daily Mass. People – it was 1969! Oh, it did once I got to the principal’s office because the reason my skirt was short was that I had folded over the waist three or four times. It probably doesn’t surprise you that I didn’t really fool the principal when I entered her office with a skirt down to my knees. (It didn’t fool my mother either, but as good a Catholic as she was, she never really thought highly of some of the school rules. I remember when I was in grade school, a rule was issued that girls couldn’t wear sleeveless dresses to school. “Oh, yes,” I remember her saying, “because there’s nothing sexier than a 6-year-old’s underarms.”)

But I digress, something I do very well.

Despite my lack of credibility, the gospel readings keep slamming me in the face, and I need you all to assure me of my salvation. For example, in yesterday’s gospel from my old friend St. Mark, Jesus tells the rich man that in order for him to make it to heaven, he had to give away all of his worldly goods.  Dang, thought the rich man. Gulp, thought I. St. Mark tells us the rich man’s “face fell” and I’m certain mine did. It does every time I hear that gospel. Heck, I don’t want to give away my big screen television. How am I supposed to watch the Broncos or Dancing With the Stars?

As I sat back to listen to Father Larry’s homily, I was prepared to hear him assure me that I didn’t have to give up my iPad after all. As I recalled, every time that particular gospel is read, the priests assure us that we don’t have to give up everything and eat only locusts and honey. To my relief, Father Larry did, in fact, assure me giving away everything was unnecessary. However, he put it in a way that actually made some sense. He pointed out that Jesus told the rich man that he should follow the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal and so on. The rich man assured him that he did indeed follow all of God’s commandments and had since a mere youth. For the most part, so do I, or at least I try.

But, said our homilist, Jesus went on to tell the rich man – and therefore me – that it isn’t simply what we don’t do, but just as important, or perhaps even more important, what we do.

Gulp, I thought again. Because the fact of the matter is that while I think about doing a lot, I mostly don’t getting around to doing anything. I can be more generous with my time and talents. When I get mail from nonprofits asking for money, I can actually give money instead of tossing them out without even opening the envelope. I always tell myself I should carry a stack of one dollar bills and when I’m at a stoplight where someone is holding up a cardboard sign, I could actually hand him/her a couple of dollars without thinking about whether or not he or she deserves my money. After all, it isn’t up to me to judge.

“Then who can be saved,” the disciples asked Jesus, who responded, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”

Even saving my pitiful butt. I’m going right now to put some dollar bills in my car.

8 thoughts on “The Eye of the Needle

  1. Yesterday’s gospel reading made me think too. My take away was that our walk with Christ is not all fun and games. This is serious business and no “things” are more important.

  2. In our bible study lesson for this week, we are covering Acts 5. The story about Annanias & Saphirra goes hand in hand with yesterday’s gospel. My take on the gospel is do our possessions control us or do we control them? Do we put God first? Annanias & Sapphira were struck dead, not because they held money back, but because they tried to deceive the apostles and God. They weren’t expected to turn everything over to the apostles.

    Love your blogs, Gloor!

  3. The homily at our church was about giving up what you have- not material possession’s, but our spiritual talents- what can we offer to God by helping at church – food bank and praying at PP. he said we are all put to the test of what we believe- assisted suicide- other issues- are we will to drop everything to follow Jesus?

  4. Don’t stop! Look at all the comments 🙂 Just thought I’d add that when John and Johnny went to Jerusalem in 2000 for the jubilee year, the guide told them that the “eye of the needle” is a gate in Jerusalem — I hope the link works, but if not, then just search it (but I like your cartoon better anyway). Did everyone already know that? I thought it was fascinating!

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