“You are but a man, and no god, though you consider yourself as wise as a god.”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 28: 1- I0)
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,’ yet you are but a man, and no god, though you consider yourself as wise as a god — you are indeed wiser than Daniel; no secret is hidden from you; by your wisdom and your understanding you have gotten wealth for yourself, and have gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; by your great wisdom in trade you have increased your wealth, and your heart has become proud in your wealth — therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you consider yourself as wise as a god, therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon you, the most terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendour. They shall thrust you down into the Pit, and you shall die the death of the slain in the heart of the seas. Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’ in the presence of those who slay you, though you are but a man, and no god, in the hands of those who wound you? You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of foreigners; for I have spoken, says the Lord God.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Dt 32:26-27ab.27cd-28.30.35cd-36ab
R/. I kill and I make alive.
“I would have said, ‘I will scatter them afar,
I will make the remembrance of them cease from among men,’
had I not feared provocation by the enemy,
lest their adversaries should judge amiss.” R.
“Lest they should say, ‘Our hand is triumphant,
the Lord has not wrought all this. ’
For they are a nation void of counsel,
and there is no understanding in them.” R.
“How should one chase a thousand,
and two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
and the Lord had given them up?” R.
“For the day of their calamity is at hand,
and their doom comes swiftly.
For the Lord will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants.” R.
ALLELUIA 2 Corinthians 8:9
Alleluia. Though Jesus Christ was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 19:23-30)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “Behold, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The word of God describes how hard it is for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven. This is not a denigration of material wealth. We must know that material wealth is a gift from God. In fact, the Bible also sometimes describes salvation in terms of material wealth. The prophet Ezekial, however, speaks of another kind of wealth that harms our relationship with God. It is the haughty attitude that makes us play god in the lives of other people by dominating them. It is the attitude of over confidence which makes us feel superior to others or arrogant because we think we are wiser than they. These are attitudes that contradict the gospel injunction to be meek and humble of heart.