WHO WILL INHERIT HEAVEN: THE RICH OR THE POOR?|28th Sunday|Year B

Neither the 'rich' nor the 'poor' will inherit heaven! Yes you heard me well. During a bible class, the question above was put up and one of the students replied: 'only the poor will be in heaven' then the teacher asked why, and he said 'because the bible says 'it will be hard for a rich man to enter heaven' and elsewhere it is written: 'blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven'. 
If that student is right, then poor people should rejoice because it will be useless aspiring for riches. But is that the case? Don't we all aspire and pray to be rich- to rise above our present economic statuses? If you wish to know more read slowly...

Mark 10:17-30
Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him...You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘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 a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’
Jesus and the rich young man
POINTS FOR REFLECTION 
1. Child of God, only the one that follows Jesus will inherit the kingdom of heaven. The criteria for inheritance is not based on one's economic status, whether rich or poor. That is why after Jesus had said "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God" he repeated again to his astonished disciples (who are poor) and said 'my children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!'. By this, Christ creates a common denominator for all, the rich and poor alike: the kingdom of God will be hard for all. 
To the rich and those well placed in the society, their wealth may constitute hindrance following Jesus on a way that leads to the cross. And to the poor, the desire for a better life could pose a challenge on that road leading to the cross as well.

2. Following Jesus not only secures inheritance in heaven but also brings 'wealth in this life', whether to the rich or to the poor. For Jesus declares:
There is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).
This wealth could as well pose as hindrance on the way leading to the cross. And so to all it is hard and seems impossible to inherit heaven! 
3. But it is not impossible with God, because with God everything is possible! Don't forget: when you talk about INHERITANCE, you talk about 'belonging to a family' and 'earning something': he who does not belong cannot earn! And for inheritance to be given and experienced, someone has to die! The death of Jesus makes it possible!
TASK: Pay attention to the "status of your followership"- how are you following Jesus? Are you doing so in Spirit and in Truth? Remember that your loving duty towards your neighbour is the best sign and witness of true discipleship. If Jesus looks at you now, would he love you as he loved the rich young man. Read the first response of Jesus to the rich young man and see that Christ loved him not because he claims he loves and serves God, but because of his duties towards his neighbours.
I pray for you: may the favour of the Lord be upon you and give success to the work of your hands in Jesus name. Amen.

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