October 10, 2021: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Mark 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 human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
Today’s gospel is filled with words and thoughts that can capture our attention. Many lessons about how to live, how we are to think in regard to worldly riches, and what “giving up” might really mean to God and to us.
The words that captured me are those of the phrase: “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Could that man asking questions about how to inherit eternal life, see and feel that love or was he so caught up in what he himself should do that he missed seeing and feeling the love that flowed from Jesus.
The same can happen to us – we can get so caught up in “doing” that we miss that the source of our good works is the grace of God’s love. Knowing, truly knowing, that we are loved by God gives us the wisdom and power to live life according to the commandments.
That deep, heart-knowledge of God’s love enables us to give up all to follow Christ and to know the rewards that God promises us.
As we go about our daily activities this week, let’s try to stop from time to time and consider why we do what we do? Is it to gain favor of others, to gain the favor of God? What about trying to be present to the task at hand, to the person we are with, and to the Source that empowers our “doing.”
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