This weekend just passed, we heard once again the Lord’s directive about wealth. He compares the entrance into heaven for the wealthy, with a camel passing through the eye of a needle. An analogy, on first glance, that makes the task a seemingly impossible one to achieve. What is meant here? Is it truly impossible for the wealthy to enter heaven. Let’s look at similar references about the needle:
 Judaism uses the phrase to speak of God’s desire to achieve the salvation of a sinner:
The Holy One said, open for me a door as big as a needle’s eye and I will open for you a door through which may enter tents and camels
 Christianity Jesus uses this parable to show the difficulty of the rich to enter the Kingdom of God:
…I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 19:23-24, Mark 10:24-25 and Luke 18:24-25.

 Islam’s  Quran uses this phrase to express the idea of something that is unlikely to happen:
To those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle.
Tradition tells us that eye of the needle was either a very small gate or a door positioned in a gate, which was just large enough to allow a camel to pass through. Camels were then, what today’s donkeys are, namely beasts of burden. Packages and barrels would be strapped onto the camel for transportation of these heavy items. In order for the camel to pass through this opening, called the eye of the needle, it had to be stripped of these bulky items.
 Keeping this traditional thought in mind, let us consider the words of Christ. Person’s so attached to their creature comforts, to their wealth, to the attainment of more of the same, regardless of the cost, will find it difficult to enter the Kingdom of God. In order to gain entry, these persons must strip away these attachments to worldly treasures. It is not wrong to have these things. It is wrong to cherish them, to hold them so close to ourselves that we don’t want to part with them. This parable is meant for all of us, because we are all wealthy. Wealth is like any treasure. A smile, a compliment, a kind action, a prayer for someone all of these are good in and of themselves. But if they die within us, never done, never uttered, never released then they are meaningless to us and to others. If they are still tied to us, never utilized in our lifetime, never given to others, how then can we pass through the eye of the needle?

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