28th Sunday of Year B

The poverty Jesus calls a blessing is never purely material, writes Father Hawkswell. “Pope Benedict points out, it always has an interior dimension.” (Ben White/Unsplash)




“How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Jesus says in this Sunday’s Gospel Reading.

Good, we think. I don’t have great wealth. He’s not talking to me. I can relax.

However, let us think again.

In his book Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says that when the Babylonians conquered Judea (586 BC), 90 per cent of Judeans were poor, and Persian tax policy kept them poor after their return from exile. Consequently, he says, they could not maintain the old idea that poverty is a consequence of a bad life: that the righteous prosper in this world.

Fr. Michael Chua




Lots of things have been weighing on my mind lately. Not just issues regarding the direction of the parish, the interpersonal conflicts taking place between parishioners, the pains and aches of the individuals who come to me for counselling and direction, but also the present and future state of the Universal Church, wounded, traumatised, and scandalised by division and sin. The question I have for the Lord when I go into prayer somewhat reflects that of the rich young man in today’s gospel. “Good master, what must we do…?” I guess it would be the same question that many of you would ask the Lord if you had the chance.

Before going into the story, beware, the spoiler. The story, I’m afraid, ends on a sad note. We must not, however, be too quick or harsh to judge the rich young man. He was no ordinary frivolous youth lost in worldly pursuits. He sincerely desired eternal life and wanted to know the winning formula for salvation. The young man claimed to be a good observant Jew who faithfully kept the Law. He just wasn’t too sure whether he had missed anything. His persistence in pressing the Lord for an answer would eventually lead him to one that he did not bargain for. The answer would require a price too heavy to be paid; a cost he was unwilling to bear.





God knows I’ve done a lot of imprudent things in my life. And God knows I’ve done a lot of foolish things in my life. I’ve said some things that were imprudently foolish. And I’ve done some things that were foolishly imprudent. And I’ve said and done things that were imprudently and foolishly sinful. While it’s true that most of us don’t lead generally foolish, imprudent lives, it’s also true that most of us, from time to time, say and do truly imprudent and foolish things. In fact, one of the most foolish and imprudent things of all would be to claim that I’m never really foolish or imprudent.

What’s the most sinfully imprudent, foolish thing I’ve ever said or done in my life? Sinful?  Sinful.  What is sin? Sin is nothing more and nothing less than damned foolishness. Solomon knew this and that’s why he prayed for prudence and wisdom. Prudence is born of wisdom: she is good judgment, common sense, mindful vigilance and foresight… Prudence takes care, thinks ahead, reasons deliberately, heeds the truth, exercises discretion… Prudence tends to be wary – not impulsive, open minded – not prejudiced, determined – not hesitant… Prudence leads to goodness, integrity, peace, humility, surety and holiness… Prudence always leads us back to the wisdom from which she is born. On the other hand, foolishness breeds carelessness, pride, waste, hurt, division and confusion – and seduces us, leads us ever nearer to, and deeper into, sin.





A few years ago a great movie came out starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson called The Bucket List. Perhaps you saw it. Two men who were dying but in temporary remission, one of whom was very rich, decided to make out a list of the things they wanted to do before they died.  It was really a great movie, even though we Catholics would have far more important things to write on your lists, the type of actions that would help us grow in closer union to God.  Still, there was an extremely beautiful scene in the movie.  The Jack Nicholson character made the huge step and was reconciled with his daughter with whom he had been estranged for years.  Then she showed him his little five year old grand-daughter.  He gave her a hug and a kiss.  When he left the house, he crossed off, “Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world.”

 The Bucket List has led a lot of us to consider the things we want to do and need to do in our lives. It also reminds us of some other lists we need to compile.  Even though we have had an easy hurricane season this year, at least so far, we all should have a list of what we would need to take with us if we had to evacuate.  It should also be prioritized.  People first, obviously, then the materials we would have the hardest time replacing, important papers, etc, and of course, those reminders of our past.  Actually, in this computer age, many of us would probably include a removal hard drive.

 The question today’s readings ask us is simply, “What are the most important things on our lists?”  In the first reading, Solomon responds to the invitation by God to ask for anything in return for his constructing the Temple in Jerusalem.  To the surprise of many, Solomon doesn’t ask for riches.  He asks for wisdom. Next to wisdom, he says, gold and silver are like mud.  But when he possesses wisdom, the Wisdom of God, everything else comes to Him.





So how are you today? Are you happy? Do you look at your life and feel it is good? Don’t look at me as if I don’t have the right to ask you that question. In fact, that question is in a real sense the most important question. In the end it is not how much money we have, how many people like us, how much work we have finished; but rather how happy we are that matters. Although it might not seem so at first, this question is a profoundly religious question. Because, as all people of faith know, our ability to be happy, our ability to live life deeply is directly connected to our relationship with God. If we seek life and happiness, we cannot find them apart from the One who is the source of all life and happiness. We cannot answer this ultimate question apart from God.

So how do we connect with God? How can we find that joy? It is at the same time both easier and more difficult than we imagine. On one hand connecting with God is simple and accessible, on the other hand it is challenging and elusive.




HomiliesSUNDAY WEB SITE | 1997

What do we want more than anything else? What is behind the drama of our desire? What will make us happy?

These, of course, are the questions of philosophers and mystics. In quiet moments, after sudden joy or loss, they stalk our inner stillness. In creative moments, they launch imagination into soaring poetry and myth or the higher reaches of science and technique.

The courtly enlightenment in the Book of Wisdom echoes many of the answers that have cast their spell on human consciousness. Power and authority present themselves as escape from our dire contingency. Abundance of gold beckoned emperors and conquistadors. Health has monuments built to its promise: “If you have health, you have everything.” Beauty has its troubadours arid marketeers. Even the splendor of intellect impressed the Stoic as a way out of pain and insufficiency.

28th Sunday of Year B

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Cardinal Tagle


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The Pittsburgh Oratory


SOURCE: Homily Archive

Homily for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time preached by Father Peter Gruber, C.O. at The Pittsburgh Oratory.

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Washington Archdiocese


Fr. Larry Young, Pastor of Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, MD talks about what he’s planning for this weekend’s homily.

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Following Jesus is a challenging and an expensive venture. It is not only expensive monetary wise. It takes one whole being. Jesus’ preaching and teaching left deep impression on people and many were drawn to follow him for various reasons. Some came for healing, others needed peace, some others wanted to have position in the society and yet others just wanted an adventure.

True discipleship had its consequences. In effect discipleship does have its price. Jesus will always show the consequences or the naked truth of following him and being his disciple. In the Gospel today Jesus does not mince words to portray the cost of this discipleship: We are presented with a rich, energetic and enthusiastic young man coming to fall at the feet of the poor prophet, Jesus. He was not only a wealthy man, he was a devout follower of the law. By the kneeling gesture, the young man portrays a sign of submission and surrender. Jesus naturally love him. God loves each and everyone of us personally. Loving the man, did not entail not telling him the truth.

He needed to make a radical turn. It hurt the man to hear he was to give up what he had. His following of Jesus required a total sacrifice of everything. It was total and radical. It was clear to the young aristocrat that he could not serve God and money (Luke 16:13). Who owned the young man’s heart? It is clear that despite his efforts to keep God’s commandments since childhood, his health had a stronger grip on him. He ran towards Jesus but could not complete the race because the cost leaving his wealth to follow Jesus seemed just too high for him to bear Are you running towards Jesus now? Do you really want to follow him?

Are you making conscious efforts to follow all the laws to the letter? Then you are on the right track already. That is good news. Let me sound a warning bell: the cost of discipleship is too high. It entails sacrificing some moments of pleasure to be involved deeply in things concerning God. It may require you to fast, to pray longer hours, to give up some of your wealth to the poor. It is a race already begun. We follow God because we have seen that his Wisdom is better than riches. We must complete this race no matter how challenging it seems to be.

SOURCE: Homily Archive
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John Michael Talbot


SOURCE: Year Cycle B – Sunday Gospel Reflections (2018)

28th Sunday of Year B



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Celebrant & Homilist: Rev. Richard Mullins; Guest Choir: J. Kemp Cook Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Choir, Washington, DC – October 14, 2018

Sunday Homilies

OCT 10, 2021 | OCT 14, 2018 | OCT 11, 2015 | OCT 13, 2012 | OCT 11, 2009

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28th Sunday of Year B

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Friends, in our first reading today, Solomon finds that all the power and wealth of the world are nothing compared to the gift of wisdom—seeing life from the perspective of God. Although this gift seems to help one further amass wealth, in today’s Gospel, Christ teaches us that to use the gifts of the world properly, we must give them away so we can follow him.
Sunday Podcast Archive


by Bishop Robert Barron . October 14, 2018

The first reading for this weekend and the Gospel, which are meant to be read in tandem, are very good examples of what I’ve called principles of spiritual physics. They lay out some ideas and relationships that are fundamental to the spiritual order—laws, if you will. And both readings have a good deal to say about riches.


by Bishop Robert Barron . October 11, 2015

In today’s Gospel we hear the story of the rich young man who desires eternal life. We all have a hunger for God and goodness. Jesus teaches us that, in order to attain friendship with God we must be disciplined and must give up the things that keep us from satisfying our desire for God.


by Bishop Robert Barron . October 11, 2009

Today’s Gospel identifies the spiritual itinerary of discipleship, the movement from living out the Faith in accord with merely what is basic and the challenge of applying oneself to the demands of spiritual heroism. Christ does not let us remain comfortable with what amounts to only an adequate response to his call, he asks for more, and our relationship with him is expressed in our response.


by Bishop Robert Barron . October 15, 2006

If an angel of the Lord stood before you and invited you to pray for one thing, what would it be? The book of Wisdom suggests today that you should pray, not for power or wealth or beauty or health, but for the wisdom that would enable you to use any and all of those gifts well. Let the first reading for this week be a sort of spiritual exercise for you.


by Bishop Robert Barron . October 12, 2003

The Gospel story of the conversation between Jesus and the rich young man is one of John Paul II’s favorites and is featured in many of his writings. The Pope sees three great moral themes in this narrative: the objectivity of the good, the indispensiblity of the commandments, and finally, the call to radical self-gift. The rich young man accepts the first two but balks at the third–and this is his tragedy. How radically are we willing to live the moral life? Will we follow Jesus, or walk away sad?

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28th Sunday of Year B

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Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, shares thoughts on preaching pro-life on the 27th Sunday of Year B. For more pro-life tips, resources and updates, visit
Father Frank Pavone



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The manifold demands and activities of life can often obscure our understanding of what among them is most important. As the second reading indicates, it is the Word of God that cuts through the fog and enables us to discern clearly what matters most.

The gift of “wisdom,” to which the first reading refers, is actually Christ himself. He is the Word, the Wisdom, the perfect image of the Father, the ultimate desire of our hearts. He himself is the Kingdom of God, and the possession above all our possessions. Both the first reading and the Gospel point us to him and urge us to desire him, and value our relationship with him, above all things.

That relationship, that possession of the Kingdom that comes by following him, depends concretely on our keeping of the commandments. It is no accident that the first commandment Jesus mentions in this Gospel passage is “You shall not kill.” The man is asking how to possess God, and Jesus is helping him to avoid a spirituality disconnected from earth. The man must have imagined that Jesus was going to give some spiritual answer upon which he could then go home and meditate, all the while enjoying his many possessions. But Jesus anchored the demands of the man’s spirituality right down to earth, asking him what he was doing and what he intended to do in relationship to people and things around him that he could see, hear, and touch. The relationship with God, as Jesus taught it, rises and falls with our relationship to others – and the first demand of those right relationships is not to kill the other.

As the passage progresses, it becomes clear that “Do not kill” is only the pre-requisite, not the fulfillment of perfect love. Love demands that we seek the least, the poorest. “Give to the poor” and “follow me” are in the same breath, not because discipleship demands that we own nothing, but precisely because discipleship demands that we give of ourselves for the other – especially for the smallest.

Here, then, is revealed the wisdom of being pro-life. What we possess – not only material goods, but career and reputation and friendship as well – can never be clung to at the expense of ruining our relationship with God. If we fail to serve the least – the most vulnerable human beings – and instead kill them, or tolerate their killing – then everything else we have as a result is false security and false joy.


General Intercessions

Celebrant: Let us turn as children to God our Father and present our prayers and needs to him with confidence.


That the Church may ever more effectively lead the faithful to the true treasures of heaven, we pray to the Lord.

That the clergy may continue to grow in wisdom and allow the Lord to enter their hearts, that they may follow his ways, we pray to the Lord.

That we will have the grace to respond to the Lord’s invitation to give ourselves away for all who are poor and weak, especially the dying, the forgotten, and the unborn, we pray to the Lord.

That the people of our parish family who are burdened with illness and suffering may be aided by our prayers and comfort, we pray to the Lord.

That the faithful who have died may enjoy their eternal treasure in heaven, we pray to the Lord.

Celebrant: Almighty God, we thank you for everything you have done for us.  Help us to find in your Holy word the source of truth and wisdom.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Bulletin Insert

The Triumph of Life

“As today’s pro-life community often is, Paul was regularly ridiculed: indeed, he suffered far worse than ridicule, for the truth about God, God’s law, and the natural law makes many uncomfortable. Those who resist God’s law don’t want to be reminded of its demands. This is no less true in our time than in Paul’s. And so we pray for the conversion of those whose hearts have been made hard by the sin of abortion and the sin of its propagation. We pray for the courage and persistence of St. Paul, as we endeavor to spread the Gospel of Life. We pray for the triumph of life” (Cardinal William Keeler, January 22, 2006)

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Wealth And Its Pursuit

Al Carino

The pursuit of wealth makes people hard and selfish. Because their only concern is themselves, they become unmindful of those with less in life. In fact, they look down on them. Wealth also makes people spiritually blind, depending for their needs entirely on themselves,

Rights and Responsibilities

Frank Enderle

The Gospel message is a challenge to take part in an especially difficult vocation. Christianity possesses a social dimension that is oftentimes ignored when we limit ourselves simply to pious acts, when we believe that simply by going to Mass on Sunday and praying a little every day we are doing all that we can do to be a good Christian.

Are You Rich?

Antonio P. Pueyo

The Gospel this Sunday makes us examine where our priorities lie. What do we really value in life? Do we value the Jesus to the extent that what we consider as our wealth takes second place? Let the Lord Jesus be No. 1.

An Adventurous Life

Antonio P. Pueyo

Life is an adventure. There are times of crises and times of stability. There are ups and downs. Growth comes with every critical period. We learn to walk, talk, and socialize. From dependence we learn to be independent and interdependent. Hopefully, as the years go by, we grow to be more mature and we move from self-absorption to self-sacrifice.

Oh, the good life full of fun, seems to be the ideal

Tom Bartolomeo

We return to Jesus’ question, “Why do you call me good?” Why?

You Know the Commandments

Douglas P. McManaman

Where you are headed is just as much defined by “where not to go” as it is by “where to go”. We live in a broken world; fetal body parts are for sale, men are leaving their wives and children for the younger looking woman at the office, countless men are addicted to Internet pornography, people are selling their souls for financial security, but so many are smitten by Pope Francis’ message of love because many of them really believe that because he speaks generally and does not get down to specifics that the specifics don’t matter. WEBSITE PUBLISHES ARTICLES DIRECTLY RELATED TO ISSUES RAISED IN EVANGELIUM VITAE, AND RELATED HOMILIES BY FR. AL CARIÑO, O.M.I., FR. TONY PUEYO, AND OTHERS.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

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