28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B


            These words of Jesus, “You lack one thing,” to the man who ran to him asking what he could do to possess eternal life, are meaningful to us today. Let us reflect on them to consider more deeply the riches we have been given and what we truly value.

            Some years ago, I asked my friend when he felt a deep sense of gratitude for something. I was surprised by his answer that he felt grateful often when his life was extremely challenging, painful, and when frustrating experiences happened to him. I wondered whether it would even be possible for him to find anything to be grateful about in such incidents. I would not have been at all surprised if resentment overshadowed gratefulness. I was touched deeply by the depth of feeling he conveyed and his apparent life-transforming power of gratitude. It also struck me hearing the redemptive twist that occurred in his life that out of something wrong (suffering, adversity, affliction) came something good (new life or new opportunities) for which he felt profoundly grateful. From his positive approach to life, I learned that it’s essential to consider reframing how I think about thankfulness about what God has gifted me with in life. However, the unpleasant experiences in our lives don’t have to be of the traumatic variety for us to benefit from them gratefully.

Therefore, when life seems to throw a lot more challenges to us, we may turn to the prayer of the psalmist today, “Fill us with your merciful love, and we shall rejoice.” We have been experiencing bad times since last year because of the virus pandemic. But despite that, the Lord has been with us through these challenges and difficulties. Therefore, the psalmist reveals the joy that comes from knowing the love of God upon us. Sometimes we may have lost the patience and wisdom to see how he has been with us. In addition to his mercy, he has shown us understanding to navigate through our challenges and difficulties. In the second reading, his word is alive and active in every aspect of our lives, which is a form of knowledge to open us to see God’s goodness in our lives. And in the gospel, Jesus challenges us not to compare all our riches to the beautiful encounter with him, who is our supreme value. So, therefore, what is one thing that we may be lacking in our Christian life to follow the Lord and have eternal life?

Consider this week being grateful for something and to others. Have good intentions of the heart and promote peace around you. Seek holiness that Jesus encouraged us to live and become like our heavenly Father. Commit your life to Jesus as his disciple.

Joy and Peace.