ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The “13th Apostle” and Possession by Way of Our Possessions

Updated on August 17, 2020

“Earthly riches are like the reed. Its roots are sunk in the swamp, and its exterior is fair to behold; but inside it is hollow. If a man leans on such a reed, it will snap off and pierce his soul.” ~ St. Anthony of Padua

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 19:16-22) we revisit the story of the rich young man who is in search of answers pertaining specifically to his eternal fate and how he might secure the outcome he desires: Heaven.

By virtue of his very question ~ “Teacher, what good must I do to earn eternal life?” ~ we know that he has a clear hunger for answers, answers that go far beyond the mere secular trappings of life. He knows too that he is not justified by his faith alone, that eternal glory is about one’s response to God’s goodness, not a mere acknowledgement of it. The action verb “do” that we find embedded in his question tips us off accordingly. And finally, he knows precisely where to go for the answer to his question, promptly seeking Jesus, the Son of God.

Many have called this man the 13th Apostle, the man who tragically walked away from his call to discipleship. Perhaps. Scripture tells us no more of this man’s journey or his ultimate fate. Could he have had a change of heart and returned to Jesus? Possibly.

But the question the rich young man poses is a good one for all of us to reflect upon. What must we do to gain eternal life? Fact is, the answer to that question is typically different for one person than it is for another. Some are called to a deeper and more profound prayer life. Others to use their financial position to contribute to the church and assist the poor. Volunteerism is the call of others, using their time and good physical condition in service to groups like Habitat for Humanity or perhaps a local pregnancy aid clinic. Still others are indeed called to follow Jesus by way of Holy Orders or Vows, pursuing Priestly vocations and Sisterhood respectively. All for the greater glory of God, all in service to the Mystical Body of Christ, that intricate mosaic that makes up his church here on Earth.

Do you possess your possessions or like the rich young man, do your possessions possess you? Our Holy Father Pope Francis warns us against the danger of complacency, comfort and worldliness in our lifestyles and in our hearts, of making our well-being the most important thing in our lives. “The human person is made in the image and likeness of God, not in the image and likeness of material objects, not in that of idols” he once said.

Our Blessed Mother offers a pure and perfect example. Mary sees God’s wondrous works in her life but doesn’t contemplate honor, prestige or wealth. She certainly doesn’t become self-absorbed. Instead her focus is on the mission, God’s will for her, a path that would ultimately lead to her eternal Queenship in Heaven.

Many other saints serve as role models as well, including the great Saint John Eudes, whose Feast Day we celebrate today. Saint John Eudes would go on to establish the Order of Our Lady of Charity as well as the Priestly Order that would go on to bear his name, the Eudist Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

In Matthew 6:19-21, we are told “do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

May our hearts be transformed so as to yearn only for things that are eternal, leaving those which are superficial and fleeting to the moths and thieves.

“Lord, open our eyes to that which we can do in order to bring about our salvation and the salvation of all those whom we encounter.” ~ Amen

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)