Suy Niệm – Chúa Nhật 28 Thường Niên – Oct. 14 – Năm B

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Suy Niệm:  Ðức Giêsu nhấn mạnh đến sự chọn lựa của một người đi theo Chúa: chọn của cải dưới đất hay kho tàng trên trời?

Người thanh niên trong bài Tin Mừng là một người giàu có và giữ nền đạo đức từ thuở nhỏ. Nhưng khi Ðức Giêsu đưa ra một điều kiện cao hơn: chia sẻ của cải cho tha nhân, thì anh ta chán nản bỏ đi. Ðức Giêsu cho chúng ta thấy: để được vào Nước Trời, không chỉ giữ đúng, giữ đủ các điều luật, không làm gì hại đến ai như anh nhà giàu kia, mà còn phải thực thi bác ái. Vì chỉ ai sẵn sàng nên nghèo khó về bản thân để mưu ích cho anh em mới xứng đáng đón nhận ơn cứu độ.

   Cầu Nguyện :  Lạy Chúa Giêsu, Chúa dạy chúng con muốn theo Chúa, muốn vào được Nước Trời, phải từ bỏ tất cả. Mỗi người chúng con đi theo Chúa nhưng vẫn muốn tích trữ cho mình thật nhiều của cải. Tiền của đời này là một trở ngại, biến chúng con thành nô lệ, ích kỷ và khó thoát ra được để đến với anh em. Xin cho chúng con hiểu rằng của cải trần gian chóng qua mau hết. Ðược Chúa, được Nước Trời mới là hạnh phúc đích thực. Amen.

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Chúa Nhật 28 Thường Niên – Năm B  (Thánh Callistô I, Giáo Hoàng, Tử Đạo)

Bài Ðọc I: Kn 7, 7-11

“Ðem so sánh sự giàu sang với sự khôn ngoan, tôi kể sự giàu sang như không”.

Bài trích sách Khôn Ngoan.

Tôi đã ước ao được ban sự hiểu biết, tôi cầu khẩn được thần trí khôn ngoan đến cùng tôi. Tôi lấy sự khôn ngoan làm hơn vương quốc và ngai vàng: Ðem so sánh sự giàu sang với sự khôn ngoan, tôi kể sự giàu sang như không. Tôi cũng không so sánh nó với kim cương, vì mọi thứ vàng đem so sánh với nó thì kể như hạt cát nhỏ bé, và bạc đem để trước nó thì kể như đất bùn.

Tôi yêu quý sự khôn ngoan hơn sức khoẻ và sắc đẹp, tôi lấy nó làm hơn được sự sáng, vì sự sáng của nó không hề tắt. Tất cả mọi sự tốt lành đều đến cùng tôi làm một với nó, và nhờ tay của nó, tôi được đoan chính không kể xiết. Ðó là lời Chúa.

 

Ðáp Ca: Tv 89, 12-13. 14-15. 16-17

Ðáp: Xin cho chúng con sớm được no phỉ ân tình của Chúa, để chúng con mừng rỡ hân hoan (c. 14).

Xướng: 1) Xin dạy chúng con biết đếm ngày giờ, để chúng con luyện được lòng trí khôn ngoan. Lạy Chúa, xin trở lại, chứ còn để tới bao giờ? Xin tỏ lòng xót thương tôi tớ của Ngài. – Ðáp.

2) Xin cho chúng con sớm được no phỉ ân tình của Chúa, để chúng con mừng rỡ hân hoan trọn đời sống chúng con. Xin ban niềm vui thế cho những ngày Chúa hạ nhục chúng con, thế cho những năm chúng con mục kích nạn tai. – Ðáp.

3) Xin cho các bầy tôi nhìn thấy sự nghiệp của Chúa, và cho con cháu họ được thấy vinh quang Ngài. Xin cho chúng con được hưởng ân sủng Chúa là Thiên Chúa chúng con, sự nghiệp tay chúng con làm ra, xin Ngài củng cố; xin Ngài củng cố sự nghiệp tay chúng con làm ra. – Ðáp.

 

Bài Ðọc II: Dt 4, 12-13

“Lời của Chúa phân tách tình cảm với ý nghĩ của tâm hồn”.

Bài trích thư gửi tín hữu Do-thái.

Anh em thân mến, lời Thiên Chúa là lời hằng sống, linh nghiệm, sắc bén hơn mọi thứ gươm hai lưỡi, thấu suốt đến nỗi phân rẽ linh hồn với thần trí, gân cốt với tuỷ não, phân tách tình cảm với ý nghĩ của tâm hồn. Không một tạo vật nào ẩn khuất được trước mặt Chúa; tất cả mọi sự đều phơi trần và tỏ ra trước mắt của Ðấng mà chúng ta phải trả lẽ. Ðó là lời Chúa.

 

Alleluia: Lc 19, 38

Alleluia, alleluia! – Chúc tụng Ðức Vua, Ðấng nhân danh Chúa mà đến! Bình an trên trời và vinh quang trên các tầng trời! – Alleluia.

 

Phúc Âm: Mc 10, 17-27

“Ngươi hãy đi bán tất cả gia tài rồi đến theo Ta”.

Tin Mừng Chúa Giêsu Kitô theo Thánh Marcô.

Khi ấy Chúa Giêsu vừa lên đường, thì một người chạy lại quỳ gối trước Người và hỏi: “Lạy Thầy nhân lành, tôi phải làm gì để được sống đời đời?” Chúa Giêsu trả lời: “Sao ngươi gọi Ta là nhân lành? Chẳng có ai là nhân lành, trừ một mình Thiên Chúa. Ngươi đã biết các giới răn: đừng ngoại tình, đừng giết người, đừng trộm cắp, đừng làm chứng gian, đừng lường gạt; hãy thảo kính cha mẹ”. Người ấy thưa: “Lạy Thầy, những điều đó tôi đã giữ từ thuở nhỏ”.

Bấy giờ Chúa Giêsu chăm chú nhìn người ấy và đem lòng thương mà bảo rằng: “Ngươi chỉ thiếu một điều, là ngươi hãy đi bán tất cả gia tài, đem bố thí cho người nghèo khó và ngươi sẽ có một kho báu trên trời, rồi đến theo Ta”. Nhưng người ấy nghe những lời đó, thì sụ nét mặt và buồn rầu bỏ đi, vì anh ta có nhiều của cải. Lúc đó Chúa Giêsu nhìn chung quanh và bảo các môn đệ rằng: “Những người giàu có vào nước Thiên Chúa khó biết bao!” Các môn đệ kinh ngạc vì những lời đó. Nhưng Chúa Giêsu lại nói tiếp và bảo các ông rằng: “Hỡi các con, những kẻ cậy dựa vào tiền bạc, thật khó mà vào nước Thiên Chúa biết bao! Con lạc đà chui qua lỗ kim còn dễ hơn người giàu có vào nước Thiên Chúa”. Các ông càng kinh ngạc hỏi nhau rằng: “Như vậy thì ai có thể được cứu độ?” Chúa Giêsu chăm chú nhìn các ông, và nói: “Ðối với loài người thì không thể được, nhưng không phải đối với Thiên Chúa, vì Thiên Chúa làm được mọi sự”.

{Phêrô thưa cùng Chúa Giêsu rằng: “Ðây chúng con đã bỏ mọi sự mà theo Thầy”. Chúa Giêsu trả lời rằng: “Thầy bảo thật các con, chẳng ai bỏ nhà cửa, anh em, chị em, cha mẹ, con cái, đồng ruộng vì Thầy và vì Tin Mừng, mà ngay bây giờ lại không được gấp trăm ở đời này về nhà cửa, anh em, chị em, cha mẹ, con cái và ruộng nương, cùng với sự bắt bớ, và ở đời sau được sự sống vĩnh cửu. Nhưng có nhiều kẻ trước nhất sẽ nên rốt hết, và những kẻ rốt hết sẽ nên trước nhất”.}  Ðó là lời Chúa.

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Gospel Mk 10,17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, 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 one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”

Daily Reading & Meditation

Sunday (October 14): Give – and you will have treasure in heaven
Scripture: Mark 10:17-30

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.” 21 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
28 Peter began to say to him, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

Meditation: What gives hope and satisfaction to our desire for happiness and security? A young man who had the best the world could offer – wealth and security – came to Jesus because he lacked one thing (Mark 10:17-27). He wanted the kind of lasting peace and happiness which money could not buy him. The answer he got, however, was not what he was looking for. He protested that he kept all the commandments – but Jesus spoke to the trouble in his heart. One thing kept him from giving himself whole-heartedly to God. While he lacked nothing in material goods, he was nonetheless possessive of what he had. He placed his hope and security in what he possessed. So when Jesus challenged him to make God his one true possession and treasure, he became sad.

Misplaced hope and treasure
Why did he go away from Jesus with great sorrow and sadness rather than with joy? His treasure and his hope for happiness were misplaced. Jesus challenged the young man because his heart was possessive. He was afraid to give to others for fear that he would lose what he had gained. He sought happiness and security in what he possessed rather than in who he could love and serve and give himself in undivided devotion.

The greatest joy possible
Why does Jesus tell his disciples to “sell all” for the treasure of his kingdom? Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. The Lord himself is the greatest treasure we can have. Giving up everything else to have the Lord as our treasure is not sorrowful, but the greatest joy. [See Jesus’ parable about the treasure hidden in a field in Matthew 13:44.] Selling all that we have could mean many different things – letting go of attachments, friendships, influences, jobs, entertainments, styles of life – really anything that might stand in the way of our loving God first and foremost in our lives and giving him the best we can with our time, resources, gifts, and service.

The priceless treasure of God’s kingdom
Those who are generous towards God and towards their neighbor find that they cannot outmatch God in his generosity towards us. God blesses us with the priceless treasures of his kingdom – freedom from fear and the griping power of sin, selfishness and pride which block his love and grace in our lives. Freedom from loneliness, isolation and rejection which keep his children from living together in love, peace, and unity. And freedom from hopelessness, despair, and disillusionment which blind our vision of God’s power to heal every hurt, bind every wound, and remove every blemish which mar the image of God within us. God offers us treasure which money cannot buy. He alone can truly satisfy the deepest longing and desires of our heart. Are you willing to part with anything that might keep you from seeking true joy with Jesus?

Why does Jesus issue such a strong warning to the rich (as well as to the rest of us who desire to be rich)? Was he really against wealth? We know that Jesus was not opposed to wealth per se, nor was he opposed to the wealthy. He had many friends who were well-to-do, including some notorious tax collectors! One even became an apostle! Jesus’ warning reiterated the teaching of the Old Testament wisdom: Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is perverse in his ways (Proverbs 28:6; see also Psalm 37:16). Do not wear yourself out to get rich; be wise enough to desist (Proverbs 23:4).

Where do we find true security?
Jesus seems to say that it is nearly impossible for the rich to live as citizens of God’s kingdom. The camel was regarded as the largest animal in Palestine. The “eye of the needle” could be interpreted quite literally or it could figuratively describe the narrow and low gate of the city walls which was used by travelers when the larger public gate was locked after dark. A normal sized man had to “lower” himself to enter that gate. A camel would literally have to knell and crawl through it.

Why is Jesus so cautious about wealth?  Wealth can make us falsely independent. The church at Laodicea was warned about their attitude towards wealth and a false sense of security: “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing” (Revelation 3:17). Wealth can also lead us into hurtful desires and selfishness (see 1 Timothy 6:9-10). Look at the lesson Jesus gave about the rich man and his sons who refused to aid the poor man Lazarus (see Luke 16:19ff). They also neglected to serve God.

We loose what we keep – we gain what we give away
Right after a wealthy young man refused to follow Jesus, Peter, somewhat crudely wanted to know what he and the other disciples would get out of it since they had freely accepted Jesus’ offer to follow him unconditionally (Mark 10:28-30). Jesus spoke with utter honesty: Those who left all for him would receive a hundred times more now, even in this life, as well as unending life in the age to come.

The Gospel presents us with a paradox: we lose what we keep, and we gain what we give away. When we lose our lives for Jesus Christ, we gain a priceless treasure and an inheritance which lasts forever. Whatever we give to God comes back a hundredfold. Generosity flows from a heart full of gratitude for the abundant mercy and grace which God grants. And generosity will be amply repaid, both in this life and in the life to come (Proverbs 3:9-10, Luke 6:38).

What’s the best investment you can make with your life now and the future? Jesus offers us an incomparable treasure which no money can buy and no thief can steal. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. Material wealth will shackle us to this earth unless we guard our hearts and set our treasure on God and his everlasting kingdom. Where is your treasure?

Jesus did not hesitate to tell his disciples that they can expect both blessing from God and persecution from the world which is opposed to God and his ways. We should neither be surprise nor fear those who try to intimidate us or oppose us when we take a stand for God’s kingdom of truth and righteousness. No earthly reward or treasure can outmatch the joy and bliss of knowing God’s love, mercy, and peace and the joy of knowing that our names are written in heaven where we will dwell with God forever. Do you know the joy of the Lord and the treasure he has stored up for us in heaven?

“Lord Jesus, you have captured our hearts and opened to us the treasures of heaven. May you always be my treasure and delight and may nothing else keep me from giving you my all.”

Psalm 111:1-2,5-6,9-10c

1 Praise the LORD. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who have pleasure in them.
5 He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever.  Holy and awesome is his name!
10 His praise endures for ever! 

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Seek the life that endures, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.

“The Lord said to a certain young man, ‘If you would enter life, keep the commandments’ (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18). He did not say ‘If you would have life’ but ‘If you would enter life,’ defining that life as eternal life. Let us first consider then the love of this life. For this life is loved, whatever its quality; and however troubled it is, however wretched, people are afraid to end it. Hence we should see, we should consider, how much eternal life is to be loved, when this miserable life that must at some time be ended is so loved. Consider, brothers, how much that life is to be loved when it is a life you never end. You love this life, where you work so much, run, are busy, pant. In this busy life the obligations can scarcely be counted: sowing, plowing, working new land, sailing, grinding, cooking, weaving. And after all this hard work your life comes to an end. Look at what you suffer in this wretched life that you so love. And do you think that you will always live and never die? Temples, rocks, marbles, all reinforced by iron and lead, still fall. And a person thinks that he will never die? Learn therefore, brothers, to seek eternal life, when you will not endure these things but will reign with God forever.” (excerpt from SERMON 84.1.9)

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