Today’s readings remind us that we do not possess anything in our life that we refuse to surrender to the Lord. In reality these things often possess us, and we become the prisoners of our possessions. What we have really done is to give our "things” top priority in our lives. Thus, we violate the First Great Commandment, which demands that we give absolute and unconditional priority to God.
The first reading advises us to use the God-given virtue of prudence and to seek true wisdom in preference to vanishing realities like riches or political and social influence. Solomon chose Wisdom before everything else. But when he accepted Wisdom, he received everything else along with her. Since Jesus is Wisdom Incarnate, when we put following Jesus ahead of everything else we receive everything else along with Jesus.
"How hard it is for people who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God." In today’s Gospel, we see the rich young man walk away with his head hanging low and for many of us, we understand (dare I say, recognize?) his sadness. Many of us, like the rich young man, live a life of faithful commitment to the commandments. We are prayerful and we follow the Golden Rule. However, if we were asked to leave our families and our possessions and dedicate our lives to our discipleship, many of us would respond with the same sadness. Our "things" matter to us way too much. Jesus doesn’t want us to live in squalor, but he does want us to recognize when our relationship with God is broken by our unintentional idolatry. Being fully alive does not require a lot in terms of material goods. (See Matthew 6: 31-34) Perhaps it is time for you and I to start simplifying our lives. Do we have extra shoes, clothing, or coats that can be donated to those in need? Do we have extra dollars we can share with a neighbor who is running short? Can we take some free time this fall to help a friend rake leaves? Isn’t it possible that giving away even some of our possessions would allow God to create conversion in our hearts?
Indeed, all parishes within the Diocese of Honolulu are restoring the Original Order of the Sacraments of Initiation between 2018-2020.
In the early Church, the person was immersed into the waters of Baptism, anointed with chrism, and shared in the Eucharistic meal as part of a single event. Over time, and for many reasons, the celebration of these three sacraments became separated from one another. In the renewal stemming from the Second Vatican Council, the Church was asked to more clearly set forth the intimate connection of Confirmation with the whole of Christian initiation. This original order also helps us recognize that sharing in the Eucharist completes our initiation into the Church and that it is Eucharist which is the “source and summit of our faith.”
Go to www.catholichawaii.org for more information on this