Memorial of Saint Pius X, pope
(Ezekiel 28:1-10; Matthew 19: 23-30)
In The Great Gatsby the consummate self-made man tries to woo back a former lover by showing off his expansive wardrobe. The woman, however, who is also wealthy, is not impressed. Neither the man nor the woman realizes the true purpose of wealth. It does not buy happiness but supports growth of self and others. Parents might invest in the education of their children or perhaps use their nice home for a social with church workers.
The gospel today as well as the reading from Ezekiel conveys the folly of hankering after wealth. Jesus’ disciples are astounded when he suggests that the wealthy have no place in the Kingdom. They see the wealthy as blessed by God on earth and destined to inherit choice places in heaven. No, Jesus advises them, the rich perhaps more than the poor need God’s mercy to be saved.
To follow Jesus we must come to terms with wealth. As he says, no person can serve both God and money. We should show not waver in our allegiance to the Lord. One man did this living by the maxim: for a successful life a person is to spend twenty years learning, twenty years earning, and twenty years serving.