“Dear children! Also today I call you to conversion. You are concerned too much about material things and little about spiritual ones. Open your hearts and start again to work more on your personal conversion. Decide everyday to dedicate time to God and to prayer until prayer becomes a joyful meeting with God for you. Only in this way will your life have meaning and with joy you will contemplate eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (4/25/2000)
Dear friends, it appears the Lord isn’t finished with us, and I get the feeling He’s only just begun. I felt very strong in my heart that the Lord wants to begin to move in hearts as He has not done before. And this message from Our Lady confirms it all the more. Our hearts are in the wrong place, and we are distracted by many things.
The Lord has shown however that because of this there are still many of His people who still resist the mercy He is permitting in this time of grace, and are consumed with fear of detaching themselves from their sin and misdeeds and cling to things that do not matter; that is material things.
I am perplexed by this, as I know many good Catholic Christians who try to work hard at practicing their faith and desire to do God’s will. But I see it is not as easy as it seems.
As I entered the church yesterday, before I even sat down I heard the Lord speak in the depth of my heart. He said, “Time to remove false gods!” I thought, hmm I thought we’d been doing this all along, is there more dear Jesus that is displeasing to you in my heart? I just received the sacrament of reconciliation, so I was a little unclear about His Word.
So I humbled myself in the presence of God and I said in prayer, “have mercy on me oh God for I am a weak and pitiful creature. Illumine my soul, and bring to light that which displeases you.” And the Lord was silent.
As the holy mass began, the readings were fitting the word I heard in my heart, from Ephesians 6 as putting on the armor of God, and then Matthew’s gospel 19:16-30, the parable of the Rich Young Man. My heart was stirring, and I knew the Lord was going to speak through His priest. So I listened with attentiveness and pulled out my journal and took notes.
And as I suspected, the homily was right on to exactly what the Lord said as I entered the church. The priest spoke about the inheritance of the kingdom of God, and the rich young man who wanted to know more about how to receive eternal life.
As I listened more, I again felt, this was not only for me to hear but the Lord wanted the Word again brought to light, and sent out into the world. Praise God! For His mercy and His desire to set captives free!
He began to say, we are too focused on ourselves, and too focused on our treasures, our material things, and seeking wealth, which of course is contrary to God’s plan for man’s salvation. Jesus taught us that we cannot serve two masters, that is God and money. We will love one and hate the other. If we have a love for money we have no room for God in our hearts, because we are consumed with how to make more money.
The priest reminded us that the devil said in the beginning, “I will not serve!” And convinced the man and the woman that they can be just like god having everything.
Aren’t we just like this? When God moves into our comfort zone, what happens, we say, “Oh no, not there, I don’t want to go there.” Then we close up our hearts, say that is too hard, and go back to our former comfortable way.
Let’s look at the scripture now about the “Rich Young Man”. Come Holy Spirit, spirit of truth enlighten our minds and our hearts to help us understand the word spoken by the Lord. Jesus you said you would send us the Paraclete who will come to convict the world in truth and remind us of all that you said. May your spoken word be enfleshed in me.
The Lord took me to the verse where the rich young man said, that he has observed the law as was spoken by the Lord. It appears that this man had everything, and everything was perfect in his life, thinking God was blessing him. If he was listening to the elders of the temple, he was following the law of God as prescribed for that time. So he asks more, what is he lacking still?
Many Catholics today think this. They think they are Catholic, they have the fullness of truth, and that is enough for them. The Lord is saying however to the contrary, it is not enough to just “be Catholic.”
After this Jesus gave an astonishing teaching and threw a curve ball to this young man who thought he had everything in check. Jesus said, “IF YOU WANT TO BE PERFECT, go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come follow me.” (Mt. 19:21)
The anointed word is “if you want to be perfect…” because later on in the gospels and in the new testament, Jesus and the apostles speak about perfection as being holy. “Be perfect for just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5:48, Jas. 1:4)
Jesus is telling the rich young man he is not giving enough of himself, perhaps knowing that he is attached to his wealth, and knew he was not able to give up the comforts of his lifestyle. But Jesus was also clear that he could not follow Him until he gave away everything to the poor. He was too attached to his things.
The Lord had me reflect on this young man. He taught that this man thought of himself as one who was already perfect having everything and practicing his faith as well. And in the eyes of his peers he was of good stature and held in high esteem.
But here he is before His God in truth. The young man realizes he is lacking something when he hears the Lord speak and he wants what Jesus has. Possibly thinking he could by his way to the kingdom of God, he asked the Lord what must he do to inherit these riches of the heavenly treasure, or “how much will it cost?”
Isn’t this how many think today? Isn’t it how the Pharisees taught the people of that time?
However, we already know the price that it cost Jesus to establish the kingdom of God. It cost his life. He came into the world poor and left poor.
Jesus asked the rich young man to give more of himself. The Lord knew he had many attachments to his wealth and his property. He was clinging on to it and most likely was very selfish with his goods and his riches, so we can see greed rearing its ugly face here, because in verse 19:22, the scripture said, “he went away sad because he had many possessions.” He had to choose between God and money. It is obvious what His choice was.
Remember Jesus said He came into the world to fulfill the law of God, and He lived the law to explain the meaning of the heart of the law which the people did not comprehend. Give with all your heart, when you give, do not let anyone see or boast in your offering, but give with the heart where only the Lord knows where it come from. Give with love of neighbor, not obligation, but out of love!
The example of Jesus in this story says that there is NOTHING “NO THING” ON THIS EARTH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
As we continue on with the story of the rich young man, the apostles are astonished by Jesus’ response to the young man. They too most likely had many possessions asked the Lord, then who can enter the Kingdom because they gave up everything of their life to follow Jesus. In fact when the Lord called them, they dropped everything in the instant the Lord spoke and followed Him.
I found it very interesting the Word of God who said in reply to the apostles, when they asked about themselves and giving up everything for the Lord.
Jesus said in reply, “Amen I say to you that you who have followed me, in the ‘NEW AGE, when the Son of Man is seated on His throne in glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Everyone who has given up houses, brothers or sisters, or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and WILL INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE…”
There it is! The blessing for what happens when we listen to the Word of God and act on it.
We live today in a so called modern society that calls itself a “New Age” or a progressive society, as if it were a new era. Honestly however we are the same human race, the same people so really nothing new as we would like to think of ourselves. Yet in this so called new age of time, people who think of themselves as progressive and the church being ancient who have no need of God, turn to many other forms of god and godlessness.
Their first god in this case is wealth and riches and many things of the material. From there they will believe anything thinking they are open minded. They will use false forms of worship, occult practices, today it is a multitude of spiritualisms such as all focus on the body and flesh in idol worshipping of the body, overt exercise, yoga, and such. Not needing God they think themselves as their own gods, taking their destiny into their hands as if they have control over their own future. Some will turn to occult, witchcraft, mediums, psychics, horoscopes, free masonry, or other forms of satanic worship, what we call “new age” era.
These people often feel they have to be on the cutting edge of new technology, or new inventions, new this or that, trying to be the first to receive the best in the literal term of the world, that is “the rat race.” Yes! A rodent race, that is one who hoards and gluttons himself on drunkenness food, pleasures or material wealth. They boast in their pride with their wealth of money, power and stature, those who live in this manner. But woe to you, because you have made yourself a puppet of satan as formerly described.
The Lord concluded his teaching on this gospel of the rich young man with Matthew 19:30 saying, “but many who are first will be the last, and the last will be first…”
Who are the ones looked down upon most in the world? It is the poor, the elderly, infants in the womb, youth, the sick and the lame. These are the least in the worlds esteem and the most destitute to the one who has riches.
My dear friends here is what you are missing, it is these that are least in the world as I have said above the ones who will inherit the eternal life, for they do not have attachments to material things.
I repeat, Jesus said, “if you want to be perfect sell everything, give it to the poor.”
If you have been blessed with wealth it is not meant for you alone! You are chosen by God to help build up His kingdom, and provide for those who are in need. Those who have more, more will be expected of them.
Look around you where you are in the present moment my friends. How many families are around you that are hard working families, who in the world esteem would be called and classified as “middle class or low income” families not as fortunate to have high paying jobs, but work by the sweat of their brow to feed their families.
Is the dignity of these people any less than yours; you who seek to be rich? No! they are human beings, God’s creatures as you are; God’s family as you are. They are brothers and sisters belonging to the same family of God.
Why then is it difficult for you then to let go of your possessions or your wealth to help those in need?
What are you afraid of? Who should you fear the most?
Do you not fear the loss of God and your soul and sell it for a moments pleasure on earth?
Your life is passing before your eyes, and you do not know the day nor the hour when the Lord will have you give an account of your life.
Here is a good prayer question.
Ask yourself as this rich young man did; ‘what am I lacking Lord? How am I like the rich young man? What is keeping me from inheriting your kingdom? What am I clinging to that I am unable to let go?
Why am I feeling so empty inside that I need to fill my heart with things?
What satisfaction do I have in things?
Why do things, money wealth and power control my life?
Or do I lack unity and love with those whom God has blessed in my life? What is my focus; God or money?
Am I clinging to my career and sacrificing my family life to have more things, or wealth or stature in my career or in the world?
What sin am I clinging to?
-Am I angry with God or His Church, or a priest?
-Am I angry all the time with my spouse?
-Am I angry with a family member?
-Am I angry with a co-worker?
Am I willing to forgive and reconcile for love of neighbor?
What bad habits, sinful behavior, or sins against the flesh, or vices to I have that I am clinging to, and not willing to give up. Keep in mind my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of which belongs to the Lord.
Am I an excessive eater, drinker, addicted to drugs or use any other form of intoxication to abuse my body?
Do I smoke or chew tobacco?
Am I addicted to pornography, masturbation or engaged in sexual pleasures outside of the conjugal union with my spouse?
(If not married, am I engaging in pre-marital sexual activity, homosexuality or any other form of sinful behavior in my flesh?)
Do I place more importance on wealth, money, and power, stature over God and my vocation? (this is a sin against the 1st commandment of God and of grave matter).
Have I willfully aborted my own child?
Have I counseled another to have an abortion, or use a form of birth control?
Have I encouraged another to pre-marital sexual behavior or condoned the sin of adultery?
Am I guarding the dignity and purity of my children in modest dress and behavior?
Please my friends if your conscience is stirring within you, and you find yourself saying yes to any of these questions of examination of conscience, and in haste I encourage you to seek the sacrament of mercy and get to confession promptly, and resolve to amend your life in radical conversion of heart. Do not delay any longer or put off what must be done to save your soul.
I will conclude this section as part one again for the sake of time, space and reflection. But know the Lord is not finished.
“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one or love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon….” (Mt. 6:24)