Today, Pope Francis speaking on vocations gives us the example of the devout rich man.
“His heart was restless, because the Holy Spirit was pushing him to get closer to Jesus and to follow him. But his heart was full and he lacked the courage to empty it. He made his choice: money. His heart was full of money…. But he was not a thief, or a criminal: no, no, no! He was a good man: he had never stolen! He had never cheated anyone: his money had been earned honestly. But his heart was imprisoned, it was attached to money and he lacked the freedom to choose. Money chose for him”.
It is our baptism that enables us to chose freely. It is Christ’s grace that allows us to pass through the narrow gate — the Eye of the Needle.
As young Jesuit Adam Hick’s notes on his blog, Ibo et Non Redibo,
“Before the Liturgy of the Word, the priest, parents and godparents trace the sign of the cross on the candidate’s forehead and the priest proclaims:
The Church of God welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Saviour by the sign of his cross.
..The rite of baptism reminds us that without God, we inevitably end up serving Satan. Jesus’s whole redemptive work was accomplished to set us free from servitude to the power of evil. Christ calls his Church to consistently reject the claim that darkness makes upon human beings. Hence, the rite of baptism is preceded by an exorcism. “This child”, the Church says, “cannot be claimed by the devil: he has been claimed by Christ.”
Serving Christ is to be little and truly free to pass through the gate into the Eternal City!
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
– Bob Dylan