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A Reflection on the Daily Readings
by Deacon Mike Manno

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
20th week in Ordinary Time

We’ve all heard of this Gospel passage before: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”

In order to help us understand the message here, the Church has provided us with the reading from Ezekiel as an introduction. Just as an aside, we should note that the readings at Mass are connected. There is a connection between the Old Testament reading and the day’s Gospel, even on Sunday. So let’s take a look at Ezekiel’s reading.

It is directed to the king of Tyre who, due to his wealth and position considers himself a god. This really isn’t that unusual as you can readily name several other rulers from history who considered themselves gods and demanded to be worshiped as same by their people.

But God answers the king back, “Because you have thought yourself to have the mind of a god, therefore I will bring against you foreigners, the most barbarous of nations. … They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea. … No, you are a man, not a god, handed over to those who will slay you.”

Tough words against the king.

He was being condemned because he had wealth, wisdom, and power, but misused all. He assumed that by possessing all that he had he was invincible, then acted without regard for his people.

Jesus was reacting to the old Jewish notion that wealth was a sign of favor from God; he was telling the disciples no one will enter the Kingdom because of their wealth, possessions, or achievements. Instead, only by the grace of God.

Obviously possessions are important to our daily lives, but we will be judged more on how we use those possessions, those tangible gifts given to us by our Creator, than by the simple possession of them alone.

There is a story I have heard that in the Old City there actually was an entrance called “The Needle’s Eye.” It was not large, however, a camel could fit through it – but only if all the baggage the camel was carrying was removed, then could the animal fit through the gate. I don’t know if the story is true or not, but it is a good image to take from the story: it is not your wealth that will save you, it’s how you have distanced yourself from it.

Assisting those in need who have less wealth is one way to do that.
Find our Wednesday 5:30 pm and Sunday 10:00 am Masses online through our Facebook, website, or YouTube Channel.
Fr. Vince and the staff have been working to layout guidance for resuming public Mass.
including *NEW Feast of the Assumption Rosary Walk, City of God small faith groups, 20-21 session RE registration, Christ Our Life Conference & lots of other great information!
Hello St. Augustin Parishioners!
These past few months have been challenging to say the least. As we start to gather in community again, we want to offer you an opportunity to become part of a small faith-sharing community within St. Augustin Parish.
On Saturday August 29th, we are going to kick-off a new program called “City of God” prayer groups at Augustin Parish. The goal of “City of God” is to form small Catholic study groups of 5-8 people. We hope that these groups will enable you to grow closer to Christ through prayer, reading, discussion, and fellowship. Read the full invitation HERE. Sign Up HERE.
What You Should Know
The 2020 Christ Our Life Conference (Sept 26 & 27 at Wells Fargo Arena) will be offered in person and livestreamed for those preferring/unable to attend in person. Extensive protective measures are being taken to ensure the wellness of in-person attendees.
 
To find out details and purchase tickets, go to: ChristOurLifeIowa.com
 
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 Christ Our Life Conference will follow guidelines to protect attendees from COVID-19. Attendees must protect themselves appropriately, assuming all risks associated with their attendance. Any individual with symptoms, a fever or exposure to COVID-19, is asked to refrain from attending the conference.