(28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wisdom 7:7-11; Hebrews 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30)
The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us: “Everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.” Yes, we know there will be a time of judgment, just as we know we will die some day, but we prefer not to dwell on these things.
In finance, accounting includes a report on income and expenses. But how is that report to be evaluated? By comparing it to the budget. That is the criterion for determining fiscal health.
Our brief text from Hebrews sums up the “budget” with the expression, “the word of God.” We will be judged by our lived response to God’s word.
Our Lady of La Salette points to the “budget” by her allusions to the commandments, which most Christians think of as the first criteria for the account we must render to God. Most of us memorized them as children; I still remember a sung version I learned in elementary school in the 1950’s!
But the word of God is much more than the Ten Commandments. Wisdom is preached as the ultimate goal in much of the Old Testament, the highest expression of God’s word, the best teacher in God’s ways. Her praises are sung in our first reading.
In the New Testament, the criteria for our account are too numerous to count. The sermon on the Mount comes immediately to mind, especially the beatitudes. Today’s Gospel teaches about the danger of being overly attached to material wealth.
Solomon states: “I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.” In 1 Kings 3: 11-12, God congratulates him for not asking for long life, riches, etc., but for discernment to know what is right. So God gives him what he asked for.
Underlying all these texts is a desire to know God’s will so as to carry it out. It was the lack of this desire that our Mother Mary observed among her people, and she came to La Salette in the hope of opening their ears to God’s word, their eyes to God’s work, and their hearts to God’s will.
Only in this way can we commit ourselves to living a Christian life and be ready to plan our “budget” in view of the final accounting.