111. Peril of Riches
As Jesus continued his journey a very rich ruler came running up to Jesus and kneeled before him and asked him:
Good Teacher, what good thing can I do to inherit eternal life?
Jesus said to him:
Why are you calling me good? There is none good, except God.
Why are you using the word “good?"
If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.
The rich young ruler asked:
Jesus said to him:
You know the commandments:
Do not commit adultery,
Do not kill,
Do not steal,
Do not bear false witness,
Do not defraud,
Honor your father and your mother,
Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
The man answered:
Teacher, I have kept all these commandments since I was a child, what am I missing?
And Jesus, when he heard it, looked at him and loved him, and said to him:
One thing is missing, if you want to inherit eternal life, go sell everything that you have and distribute it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. And then come and follow me.
When the man heard this he became discouraged and depressed and full of sorrow, for he was very rich and had great possessions.
Jesus saw his demeanor change and looked around at his disciples and said:
How difficult it is for a rich man to enter in the kingdom of God.
And the disciples were amazed at these words.
Jesus answered again and said:
Children, it is very hard for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The disciples were astonished and said to Jesus:
Then who can be saved?
Jesus looked at them and said:
With men this is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God. The things that are impossible with man are possible with God.
Then Peter said:
We have left everything to follow you, what are we going to get out of it?
Then Jesus said to him:
Listen carefully to this truth, When I come in my glory and sit on my throne, you will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Everyone who has left houses or children or lands for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will receive his reward in the world to come.
Many of the last will be first and the first will be last. For the kingdom of heaven is like a man managing his house, who goes out early in the morning to hire laborers.
And he agrees to pay these laborers fifty dollars a day, and sends them into his vineyards to work.
Later that day he sees men standing around in the marketplace with nothing to do. And he says to them, Go into my vineyard and work and I will pay you a fair wage.
After this, even later in the day, he went and found some other men who had nothing to do, and he told them to go into his vineyard and work.
At the end of the day, he paid all the workers the same amount, fifty dollars.
But those who had been working all day complained bitterly, saying:
These men who only worked in the vineyard for one hour are receiving the same wages as those of us who worked all day under the hot sun.
The man replied and said:
Friend I have not done anything wrong. Didn’t I give you what I agreed to pay you? Take what is yours and go your way and do not be angry with me.
It is my will to give to the last, just like I have given to you. Are you going to be jealous because I am good?
The last will be first and the first will be last.