St. Simon the Cyrenian - The African Orthodox Church in America

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Greetings in the name of our Lord JESUS Christ,
+Archbishop James Salisbury Jr., OSB.
Mark 10:17-31

10:17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

10:18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

10:19 You know the commandments: 'You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'"

10:20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth."

10:21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

10:22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

10:23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"

10:24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

10:26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?"

10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible."

10:28 Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and followed you."

10:29 Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news,

10:30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age--houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life.

10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
Jesus has just turned upside down the simple, but very popular Jewish belief that prosperity is a sign of God’s favor. Being wealthy is the sign of a good man. If one was rich and prosperous, Jewish belief held that God has honored and blessed that one.
One peril is a false sense of security, self-assurance and self-sufficiency.
Jesus wasn't referring to a sewing needle when he talked about a camel going through the eye of a needle. The "eye of a needle" was referring to a small gate within the larger gate at the entrance to a city. It was common to build an ordinary door in the huge gate so that common folks could go and come in the city without leaving the large gate wide open all the time. But here's the catch: For a camel to get in, he would have to take off the burden of all he was carrying on his back, and kneel down and crawl through the door. So Jesus was comparing the rich young rulers many possessions as a burden to him.
*You see, the opposite of rich is not poor.  The opposite of rich is free.
*Everything we own are borrowed items.  Meant to be used in serving others.
Possessions are not only "things" but also our attitudes, our prejudices, our values
*You can only lose what you will not give away.
*Money is a good servant but a poor master
*Most valuable items cannot be insured.
*We could be dead before we die
*Our possessions own us.
*He's foolish, not because he's rich but is poor and does not know it. Or another way would be because he is rich and does not know it.
*More addiction" the need for more and more to fill the emptiness.
In the Master’s Yoke,
+Archbishop Metropolitan James Salisbury Jr., OSB.
The United States, Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania

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