The Needle's Eyes
Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time (A)
My dear encountered couples:
“It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” There is an opinion that in Jerusalem there was a gate called “The Needle’s Eye”. And when Jesus made this statement, he was referring to that gate. It may merely be an Arabian Nights type of story, invented by someone’s mind. But I think it helps us to understand a bit better what Jesus was trying to say. Here is how the story goes.
This gate called “The Needle’s Eye” was an entrance into Jerusalem used by caravans of camels. It was very narrow. If a camel was carrying too much baggage, it had to be taken of f to get the camel through the gate. The riches had to be unloaded or there was just no way of entering through “The Needle’s Eye”.
Jesus compared the Gate of Heaven to this gate. To enter through the gate into heaven, anyone over laden with possessions of the world and overly attached to them would have to give them up.
He was telling us not to allow ourselves to become so attached to our material wealth and riches of worldly knowledge that we are unwilling to give them all up for the riches and knowledge of God.
Maybe the sensible thing for those caravans entering Jerusalem would have been to use another gate. But there is only one way into heaven. And it is found by following Jesus. No matter what it takes, unload everything and anything that keeps you from him.