The Gate of Heaven Compared to the Eye of A Needle
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
The Christian faith is moulded around the the sacrament of Baptism. Baptism means a disconnect, a cutting away to worldly ways and thinking, a dying to the self that has been moulded by the world and the way it thinks and the things it places values to. It additionally means getting into a relationship with Jesus (discipleship) and learning the things that are his and discovering the truth that has been changed and confused by the world. Within the context of discipleship, poverty and suffering makes us ready to be humble, because we have lacking, needing and afraid, and therefore cling on to God readily, and happily. Not so the rich, the way they have grown, they have embraced worldly ideas as truth, and are comfortable wherever they are. Think here the Rich Man who was thinking of building barns, there was no need for him to be in a relationship with God, and he was overconfident, lusting behind money which was his god and filled with pride and therefore blind to the truth. For the rich therefore to pursue God will require a lot of grace – and it will come in the form of suffering and even poverty. This is so because pride needs first to be removed and humility take its place in a persons life. Humility makes the way for the Christian Virtues to come in, and Gratitude for a person to continue to dwell in humility.
Reflecting on the explanation above; we see why Jesus mentions that it is difficult for the rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He comes with a lot of baggage, and that baggage needs to removed from his life. So for people to understand this, Jesus likened things to travelling merchants, who moved from city to city with their goods on camels. Many a times they were late in arriving at a city after nightfall and the main gate was closed, to protect the city from robbers and attackers. Some of these cities had a small narrow side door, where only a normal person, without anything could enter it. So a man with armour would find it difficult to pass through, and would be quickly and easily dealt with by the soldiers guarding the gate. Knowing this we realise that a camel literally with or without goods is not be able to pass in through the gate. The rich man is the camel and the camel that can enter in is possibly the poor man who has baggage, but poverty and suffering also in his life to help him.
Man has gone and changed the truth. Therefore the real truth is upside down. Lets take the classical example of Marriage and Divorce. The World teaches one thing and the Church proclaims Christ’s truth. Yet divorce is accepted openly and the meaning of marriage changed/abused to suit our own corrupted ways. The Church cannot change its stand on both, because on both these, according to the Truth, stands the understanding of Redemption/Salvation. To falsify them means to cut the very hope that humanity has, to be drawn back to God. Truth points us in the right direction, but the worldly truth we have grown up with only holds us back from embracing the proper way of doing and living.
Take then this time to reflect and pray today’s Gospel, along with the Holy Spirit, ‘Lord, help, we want to believe, but help us to overcome our unbelief. Help us to shed pride and embrace You. Lord, come and lead us to the fullness that is only found in you.”