March 4, 2019

Gospel MK 10:17-27
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
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.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
Reflection:
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Here was a good man who “knelt” before Jesus, paying Him homage and respect. He expressed a desire to go to Heaven; it would seem he was not that different from you and me.
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.”
Before Jesus addresses the young man’s desire for “eternal life,” He sets the record straight: “No one is good but God alone.” We should not put anyone on a pedestal, for all human beings are subject to human failings.
“You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing.”
Obedience to the commandments are considered a way for us to be good Christians. But, God wants more for us than simply obeying a list of do’s and don’ts. If we are to know the joy of life and of Heaven, our lives need to include compassion and concern for others so that we are moved to respond to people with loving acts and deeds.
“Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
The man in the story “went away sad” because he was hoping to attain “eternal life” by obeying a set of rules and clinging to the false security of his “many possessions.”
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
The disciples were stunned to think that it would be difficult for a wealthy man to attain eternal life. Wealth was mistakenly viewed as a sign of God’s approval for a life well lived. Poverty, on the other hand, was thought to be a sign of God’s displeasure for a person’s sinfulness.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
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.”
Wealth and possessions can be seductive, drawing us away from the things that are important to God, such as “love thy neighbor as you love yourself.”
God knows if we generously share our blessings and good fortune, there is no need for anyone to be poor or destitute for there is plenty to go around.
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
Love in both word and deed; God will take care of all the rest.
“The proof and joy of love lies not in our words but in our actions.”
Unknown