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20th AUGUST, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 19:23-30)

IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO PASS THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you solemnly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” When the disciples heard this they were astonished. “Who can be saved then?” they said. Jesus gazed at them. “For men” he told them “this is impossible; for God everything is possible.”

Then Peter spoke. “What about us?” he said to him. “We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?” Jesus said to him, “I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life.

“Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
 

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THE LORD HAD COME TO TEACH HUMILITY AND OVERTURN PRIDE

WE WOULD NEVER HAVE FALLEN IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR PRIDE

BY ST AUGUSTINE

…But why the Lord should first have chosen low-born men, few in number, inexperienced and unrefined, when before his eyes he had a great crowd who, though certainly few in comparison with those poorer people, were still many in their kind: the rich, the high-born, the learned, the wise, whom he also gathered in afterwards – well, the Apostle explains the secret: God chose the weak things of this world to disconcert the strong; and God chose the foolish things of this world to disconcert the wise; and God chose the low-born things of this world and the things that are not (that is, that are not counted), that the things which are might be rendered vain (1Co 1:27-28).

For he had come to teach humility and overturn pride.

God had come in humility; in no way would he here first seek the high and mighty when he had come so humbly himself. In the first place, because he chose to be born of that woman who had been betrothed to a carpenter. So he did not choose important family connections, or this world’s aristocracies would have taken it as justifying their pride. He did not choose at least to be born in a most important city, but he was born in Bethlehem of Judah, which is not even favoured with the name of city. Those who live in the place today call it a village; it is so small, so tiny, it is almost non-existent – if it had not been ennobled by the birth there in days gone by of Christ the Lord.

So he chose the weak, the poor, the unlearned; not that he left out the strong, the rich, the wise, the well-born; but if he chose them first they would imagine they were chosen for their wealth, for their property, for their family connections, and puffed up about these things they would not have received the healthy condition of humility, without which no one can return to that life which we would never have fallen from had it not been for pride.

 
 

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