Jesus accused the Pharisees of straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel. Elsewhere, Jesus said it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Mt 19:24). Both times Jesus used the camel as a means to spotlight a ridiculous lifestyle.
Jesus castigated the Pharisees for traveling many miles to convert a person and then making this person into twice the devil that they previously were (Mt 23:15). Jesus tried to shock them into seeing that this effort is ridiculous. Why travel so far and work so hard to end up swallowing a camel?
People still walk miles to swallow camels today. For example, many ignore their spouse and children, slaving for decades to save money — only to lose their retirement in the stock market or in paying off the nursing home (Hg 1:6). Why spend your life to end up in dissatisfaction? (Is 55:2) Why work so hard to end up in hell? (Lk 12:16-21) It's hard to swallow!
How much better it is to let go and let God! (Ps 46:11). If we seek first the kingdom of God on His terms and let His will be done in us, the Father will provide all we need (Mt 6:33-34). "It is vain for you to rise early, or put off your rest, you that eat hard-earned bread, for He gives to His beloved in sleep" (Ps 127:2).
Prayer: Father, I will spend the rest of my life devoted to Your will rather than on my own desires (1 Pt 4:2-3).
Promise: "We drew courage from our God to preach His good tidings to you in the face of great opposition." —1 Thes 2:2
Praise: St. Augustine gave up his mistress, his hedonism, and his useless philosophizing and found total fulfillment in serving his Lord.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007. †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007.
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