Today’s readings teach us that there are things that are more valuable to us than gold or material possessions. The author of our First Reading puts himself in the position of King Solomon who, centuries before, had asked God for wisdom so that
he might be a good king. Pleased with this request, God promised to make him unparalleled in wisdom, and to give him wealth and a long life besides. (Cf. 1 Kings 3:5-14) Hence our First Reading deems riches as “nothing” in comparison with prudence and wisdom.
In today’s Gospel Jesus teaches that it is hard for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God. In the end even King Solomon had been compromised by his marriages to foreign women and his participation in the worship of their gods. Even though God had given him all that he wanted and more, King Solomon did not remain single-hearted in his fidelity to God. As a result God allowed the kingdom to be divided during the reign of Solomon’s son. (Cf. 1 Kings 11:1-13) The young man in today’s Gospel, who has only a fraction of the wealth of King Solomon, is still unwilling to part with it, even for the sake of eternal life. Undue attachment to material wealth was the tragic flaw for both King Solomon and this young man. It is this that we, too, are called to avoid.
As we continue our observance of October as pro-life month, we know that the most fundamental pro-life issue is abortion. Most recently Pope Francis, during a press conference during his return flight from Slovakia on September 15, when he was asked by a journalist from the Jesuit publication America about “a woman’s right to choose,” replied thus: “Abortion is murder. Scientifically it’s a human life. The textbooks teach us that. But is it right to take it out to solve a problem? This is why the Church is so strict on this issue because accepting this is kind of like accepting daily murder.” I would add that science tells us more about the humanity of the unborn child that ever before. We know now that the unborn child is conscious, becomes accustomed to its parents’ voices, sucks its thumb, and reacts to unpleasant stimuli such as pain. Do a search for the 1984 video The Silent Scream, which shows the unborn child trying to avoid the abortionist’s probe. The Holy Father invokes science in his defense of the humanity of the unborn child. How many times have we heard President Biden say, “Follow the science,” in justifying mandates about the pandemic or his proposals regarding climate change. Well, Mr. President, be consistent and
follow the science with regard to the humanity and right to life of the unborn child.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week the priests, deacons and pastoral associates will gather at Holy Cross Diocesan Center in
La Crosse for the Fall Ministry Conference. Consequently there will be no Mass on Tuesday this week. Monday’s Mass at St. Charles will be at 8:30 AM on Monday; there will be no Monday-evening Mass.
October is the month of the rosary. Try to gather the members of your household together to pray it on a regular basis. Continue to pray the rosary this week for the legal protection of the right to life, for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and for those preparing for marriage. Pray for good weather for the fall harvest and for the safety of all working to bring it in. Finally, pray for the priests, deacons and pastoral associates of our diocese who will be gathering at Holy Cross Diocesan Center for the Fall Ministry Days on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
May God bless his people with peace.