Having Nothing in Order to Have It All 8

By Fr Jose LaBoy

Entering the Kingdom 

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

We know from the Gospels that Christ spends most of his public ministry preaching about the Kingdom of heaven. God wants to be the King of our hearts. This is impossible if we are attached to things. When Christ says that it will be hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven, he is speaking to every person. Christ is saying that to be attached to material things means not having room for God. It’s not a matter of riches. Just as a mountain climber doesn’t use heavy gear or take a weighty rucksack, in our spiritual climbing of the mountain (which is our intimate relationship with God), we need to be free of anything burdensome.

It Seems Impossible

“Who then can be saved?”

The reaction of the disciples helps us to remember how easy it is for us to be attached to ourselves, to things, to pleasures and to desires. To leave all of these in order to get to heaven may seem impossible for us to do. In fact, it is. No one can overcome these attachments without the help of God’s grace. That is why Christ says, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” God will take us to heaven if we let him. An overloaded boat will sink not because it is incapable of floating, but because the weight is more than it can carry. We can reach God when we empty ourselves and allow his grace fill our hearts.

Having Nothing in Order to Have It All

We can usually give up something in order to receive something better. That is why the apostle Peter, not really sure of what “the prize” of his following Christ is, asks the Master, “What will there be for us?” The reward of our renunciation is to be with Christ, forever sharing in his glory. The awesome thing is that Christ tells us it’s not something we will receive in the future, but something we can already begin to receive here on earth. St. John of the Cross, who had a profound love for Christ, understood very well that “to come to the possession you have not, you must go by a way in which you possess not” ( The Ascent of Mount Carmel , Book 1, Chapter 13).

Fr Jose LaBoy, LC

8 comments

  1. Are you aware that there are openings through the wall of old Jerusalem that would be very difficult for a full grown camel to pass through, and if they carried merchandise, it would have to be removed in order to pass through. Adds a little to this verse. What Christ asks for is simply ourselves, non of our baggage. We must let go of everything else and cling to him only.

    • Thank you, Gracie, for sharing this observation. It just goes to show… you can’t take it with you! So it is better not to be attached to anything, if possible.

      I added, “if possible,” because part of Christ’s point was it’s hard. Hard but not impossible. As St Paul said, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me,” and:

      More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ…

  2. Hello,I am new here and I have been listening and don’t quite get it.I have things but I don’t love them more then the Lord. I have a vehicle and house and cat,dog,batter fish,and lots of things,but if the Lord came right now I would prefer to go with him,I wish he had asked me before I ever came here and I would have said NO! I don’t want to go there,people die and get hurt and lie and cheat,there is sickness and blackness even though there is light.People fight animals fight and even insects kill each other off.The only things that are nice are flowers of all colors and the blue sky,space and all the planets,water,snow, rain, fruits of all kinds and food of all kinds but they can make you sick or fat so they can be a problem. I love all things that the Father made and his wonderful animals Oh he is so good to us. We are not worthy of all he gave to us worms,he invited us all to dinner and passed his own plate to us because he loves us that much,all that was his he gave and we are ungrateful worms.There is none that is worthy no not one! Surely he must have seen something good here,something that would be worth loving and caring for? Something worth giving his own Son for? What is it we do that is so special for him to love us this much?I’m glad I came here I feel better right now because I got my feeling out and it feels good.Thank You Lord for tonight.Blessings and Peace to all who love you! Psalms:8

    • Life on earth is a drudgery. The readings in Mass during these weeks are a reminder that there is a higher place and a better place to look forward to, when all the fleeing things in this world are taken away. And they are all fleeting things. But the love of God never leaves us. Let’s love him with all we have. God bless!

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