Man’s difficulty in joining the Kingdom lies in the fact that he wants to “join his self” first. He is the center of existence and not God. The rich man that was the subject of the Gospel today (Luke 18: 18-27) thought that he is the center because he kept the commandments. But when Jesus told him that he has to sell everything in order to follow him, the man withdrew. Leaving everything he owns meant to him that he has lost his control over this existence. This existence is as important to him as keeping the commandments. He wanted God and the world together; God and the love of money. This rich man did not reach Jesus’ nakedness on the cross, i.e. having his heart empty from everything except from the Lord. If money was power, God then doesn’t have all powers.
Money leads into a greater power which is politics. It is not bad to support important people (politicians) in a country whose composition is bad. However, when you aim to support the powerful through all possible ways, for example through bribe or any other method of temptation, this would be politics in the Lebanese way where the smart gets everything and where our obedience to the leaders of the nation is everything.
The person that feels that he has power and is able to do a lot isn’t usually charmed by God’s power unless he or one of his children became sick. The powerful gives God away. Does this mean that you have to give up your power in the government or authorities for example? No, but you should use it in God’s fear so that you don’t misuse favors you do to people, and you don’t oppress anyone or buy someone’s conscience.
There is also a big power for women and it is the power of beauty. The beautiful woman usually shows off because her beauty gives her wealth and power on earth; for example her requests are usually quickly done even if she only had some silly paperwork to do. Her husband can’t do something in front of her power even if she was mistaken. Showing off leads her to pride and arrogance and consequently to emptiness.
There is also another kind of authority and it is that of the educated, cultured and intelligent people. Knowledge is a power over the half-educated and the simple people. Intelligence is a thing that causes pride although it is a gift from nature. You did refine this gift through your efforts but you originally inherited it through the law of nature.
All of these mentioned are possessions in the world. Beauty, intelligence, money and political power, all of this is from this world and doesn’t have any value for God or for the people close to him. If you had something of this and it gave you pride, know that you will not taste the Kingdom of God. None of these could give you any benefit in order to be sanctified. Only if you became poor in God and knew that this poverty is the only thing that gives you divine wealth, you will become beautiful and intelligent in a different way. Modest people have their special intelligence and ability that notables and educated people have never heard of. The arrogant became a part of this world, of its soil. While people who gained beauty through Jesus’ humility, are seen by him hung naked on his cross, motivated and ready for the resurrection.
Translated by Mark Najjar
Original Text: “الحائزون على الدنيا” – 25.11.01Continue reading