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“So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." —Mark 10: 24b-25

Today’s first reading is from the Book of Wisdom. It is God’s revelation about divine wisdom, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit received at Baptism and fully given at the Sacrament of Confirmation.

“I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her…” Wis. 7:7-8.

Why prefer divine “wisdom” over worldly power and wealth? Because those things distract a person from entering into Holy Communion with God. Wisdom, however, helps perfect the virtue of faith, and only with faith can we grow in friendship with God.

Wisdom helps us to discern the nature of things: we can make distinctions between natural gifts (food) and supernatural gifts (the Bread of Life); mortal life and the Eternal Life of God; the Holy Commandments of God and the laws of human society, which should align with God’s laws in order to be just and helpful.

Unfortunately, there are many people who seek after wealth and worldly power instead of God’s wis-dom. In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us: “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” To emphasize this point, Jesus repeats it and reminds his disciples that anyone who gives up their possessions for his sake and the sake of the gospel will be greatly rewarded, although they will suffer persecution.

St. Francis of Assisi (b. 1181 – d. Oct. 3, 1226 A.D.) took Jesus’ words profoundly to heart and gave up all his possession to proclaim and live the Gospel. As a Church family, we celebrate his Memorial on October 3, the day of his death, for we believe he died in the state of grace and quickly entered into heaven.

He is the patron saint of Italy, messengers, ecology, animals, archaeologists and merchants. Enjoy his poem of praise of God, and how he saw God reflected in all of creation.

Canticle of the Sun

Most high, all powerful,

all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High,

do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to

pronounce your name.

Be praised, my Lord,

through all your creatures, especially through my lord

Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you

give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant

in all his splendor! Of you, Most High,

he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord,

through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms,

and all the weather, through which you give

your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, My Lord,

through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble,

and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord,

through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten

the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with

colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure

sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High,

they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our

Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living

person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing

your most holy will. The second death can do

no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord,

and give thanks, and serve him with great humility.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe


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