Passing the Eye of a Needle

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

There is an animation made by a Korean. It illustrates why the rich cannot enter the eye of a needle. The reason is the eye of a needle is only fit for the size of a person. So if you are bringing something with you then you cannot pass through it. So among us all, it is very easy to know who will not pass. The more we have things in our room, the more difficult we can pass.

 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let us look at the first reading from the prophet Ezekiel. In the reading, God criticized the prince of Tyre because he thinks himself as God, but in fact he has no authority over his belongings. Just like a bursar who is proud for having lots of money but does not belong to him at all. So just like to the prince of Tyre, may be the critic also is pointed to ourselves. May be we think ourselves as God: everything should happen according to our will or desire. Or may be we think something else as our God: things that we rely on e.g. our richness, our insurance, our family, knowledge, etc. Today God reminded us that only one thing we should worry and rely on; that’s him: The almighty and ever living God, who deal death and give life. That is our psalm’s response before.

 

So I think it is very clear to us, if we are going to pass through the eye of a needle in order to enter heaven we should put our trust in God alone.

There is a story. There was one man called Bato. His life was terrible. He killed, robbed, raped, gambled, etc. He never did good in his life. One day he tried to rob a house in Xavierville, Bolduc House. He didn’t know that it was a house for religious. When he robbed the house, he started from the corner, Fr. Isip’s room.  He succeeded to enter but he found out that there was nothing valuable things that he can take. He also realized that it was a priest room from the big cross, the rosary, the images of saints, and the habit. At that time, Fr. Isip woke up and caught him. Bato asked for apology and Fr. Isip forgave him and gave him short homily. He said to him: “Why are you doing this? You know ourlives is very short and when we die, we will enter either heaven or hell. Aren’t you afraid of hell? People there are burned.” Bato replied. “Of course I am afraid Father. But I already know the key to enter heaven. What is it?” asked Fr. Isip enthusiastically. “I am going to be like a criminal on the cross beside Jesus. Before he died he just said: “Jesus remember me when you enter your kingdom”. And Jesus said to him: Now, you’ll be with me in heaven.” Fr. Isip was surprised with his answer and gave him blessing before he left.

After the event, Bato was still continuing his crimes but this time he made sure that the house was not a convent. He wasn’t afraid because he knew the key to enter the kingdom of heaven. However on day, when he robbed a house, he got caught. He tried to escape but the owner of the house shot him. He got shot and fell down. He died before he was able to say the key to enter heaven.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, believing in God needs effort, process, and time. Also it should be started from now. Who knows that we might have no more chance.

(Written by: Fr. Reynold Agustinus Sombolayuk, OMI, his Homily in Daily Mass, 16 August 2016, at the Chapel of Bolduc House, Quezon City, Philippines)

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