The Gospel reading for the Daily Prayer of the Church in this last week of the Church year and the day before Thanksgiving, is a continuation of Matthew where we read about how difficult it can be to enter into the Kingdom if we put our trust in temporal things:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’
Then Peter said in reply, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first. (Mt. 19:23-30).
The simple fact is this: if we put our trust in temporal things to save us, we will be sorely disappointed. On what has become known as “Black Friday,” hundreds and thousands of people will be stationed in front of stores where they have camped out for a few days. And as soon as those doors are opened, like a camel trying to get through the eye of a needle, they will rush, push, elbow, shove and fight their way past their fellow bargain hunters and stampede toward that all important thing that is on sale. People will be trampled and injured, and for what? They will have done it for a sale item that they could have purchased at the Veteran’s Day sales just a few weeks before.
As we start this holiday season, ask yourself this: what do I put my hope and trust in? Do I put my hope and trust in sale items to fulfill me and bring me joy, or do I put my hope and trust in God alone?
Let us pray: Gracious Father, we are thankful for all that you have given us, life, loved ones, and most of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us so that we might live with you and the Holy Spirit now and always. Amen.
World Aids Day on the Island at St. Augustine’s starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, 1 December.
Adult Christian Formation the 4 Sundays of Advent at 11 a.m. with C.S. Lewis and A World Awaits: Advent Reflections.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550