As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ´You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.´" He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible." (Mark 10: 17-27)
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you are my creator, my redeemer and the one who strengthens me to live every day following you more closely. You are my treasure both now and in eternity. I know that you look at me with love and that you challenge me to greater happiness, greater freedom because you love me. Speak to me in this meditation. Challenge me to set aside that which I cling to and which only separates me from completely following you.
Petition: Lord, show me one area that I can give wholeheartedly to you today.
1. In our first point let us reflect on the heart of Christ that experiences joy at seeing a young man so faithfully following the commandments and desiring to reach everlasting life. Like a coach with a promising athlete or a professor with a promising student, Christ wants to take this young man under his wing. His joy at the sight of the young man and his love for him is expressed in his invitation. He invites the young man to let go of everything and be filled entirely with Christ. He loves the young man, and longs for him to be close at hand. It is the mystery of Christ’s love to unite all things in himself. From his love is derived the call: “Follow me!”
2. Our young man was so ready to give to Christ. He longed for everlasting life but perhaps he didn’t realize that belief in, love for, and union with Christ is what everlasting life is all about. To possess Christ is to possess eternal life.
The young man was ready to give Christ a long and elaborate list of things, anything but what Christ was really asking him: to sell off his possessions and possess the pearl of great price, Jesus Christ himself. Sadly enough, the young men wanted to cling to his possessions and while doing so, it was impossible for him to love anything or anyone else. If he had paused for a moment to look into Christ’s eyes, he may have realized how much he was loved and therefore entrusted himself to the one who loved him.
3. Many times in our lives we may be tempted to substitute what Christ is really asking of us for something that we are more ready to part with. Have we forgotten that it is for sheer love for us that Christ pokes around our heart to free it and to make it more his own? Christ is incapable of harming us – he is only love. If we deny Christ anything in this life, it is because we do not know him!
Dialogue: Lord Jesus, in my life may I never doubt your love for me. Through the initiative of your grace I am praying. Through the initiative of your grace may I respond to your invitation to follow you more closely. Through the initiative of your grace may I surrender into your hands what is not part of your plan for me. What is it Lord? May I keep as the treasure of my heart and of my life, the gifts and graces that you have chosen from all eternity to give me in the Parish.
Resolution: Choose today to let go of some moment of time that would have been spent in some other legitimate way, and then spend that time conversing with Christ about his love for us and desires for us to be his apostles.