O Lord, accept our desire
to pass over to the glory of heaven,
and teach us what to do.
What do I lack to follow Jesus? What must I do? Today the Gospel presents a man who thought that happy life and eternal life can be guaranteed in Jesus Christ through legalistic and good work associated with the person. This man has kept the commandments as he thought, but he forgot one commandment that summarizes all others; love God and your neighbour.
Mark does not refer him as young but Mathew identifies him as a young man, very rich!(Mt 19:16-22). His wealth became an obstacle to follow Jesus. He went away sad when Jesus invited him to share his possessions with the poor. The synod 2018 on YOUTH, FAITH AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT which is going on in Rome from October 3-28, is trying to respond to the concerns of the young people in the world today. What do they need in order to follow Jesus closely? What must they do to relate with Jesus, spend time with him in prayer, to follow him and to know him? To the young people, Jesus is a good person and a friend you can trust. Don’t fear to follow him and make a choice for him throughout your life. He has a true sense of life and joy; he has eternal life for you. Put your trust in him and follow him and his ideas. That is, his wisdom and he will in turn give you his loving gaze (Mk 10:21).
To the young people today, what is the obstacle to your decisions about faith, the person of Jesus and his Church? What must you do? Don’t be afraid to risk in Jesus Christ. Spend your time with him as you would love to spend more time in video games, social media and eating. Remember his loving gaze upon you and his promise of true joy and life.
What do I lack as a Christian disciple to make a profound choice and renewed daily choice to follow Christ more intimately? The first reading tells about the wise choice that king Solomon made. He considered wealth as nothing but wisdom to lead his people as something. He thought about his people and how he could make them successful. In the Gospel the rich man considered his wealth over the people.
Love people more than possessions, destroy the wall that the worldly possessions have created between us and others and even God. Allow to change your ideas and be lead by the ideas of Jesus which is wisdom that guides us to joy and life. Worship God and not wealth so as not to allow wealth be an obstacle to your missionary journey of following Jesus every day.
Wealth can make us respectable people but not very likely ready disciples of Jesus Christ. A gifted, talented person is ready to share his/her gifts with others to be a blessing to them. Wealth is meant to be shared with others since God who has shared his blessings with us invites us to do the same. Wealth should not make us slaves of this life forgetting there is another life which is the real possession we all desire. Our interests should go beyond this life and all it offers and aspire for higher interests in God himself our true fulfillment. Our desire is transcendent and Christ invites us today into that choice.
Our attitude towards wealth determines our choice either for Christ or the worldly possessions.
Our question always should be, Lord what must I do? This question has openness to learning the ideas of Jesus. It has some sense of value in wanting to get the wisdom of God to guide us on using his blessings to remain intimately close to him. The question is of the rich man and is filled with desire but not priority. For us Christians Christ is challenging us to set our priorities for him and the life that he promises. To meet our priority which is to become true followers/real Christians/ generous Christians we need something.
What do we need? Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say “something for God, something Beautiful, is sharing with the poor”. St. Lawrence Deacon and Martyr would say “seeing the treasure we have in the poor than despising them, they are also children of God open to the same transcendence”, St Francis of Assisi says ‘detaching ourselves from worldly possessions to be with the poor” Blessed Allamano would say “doing quietly the works of charity” and Pope Francis constantly teaches us solidarity with the poor and guarding our hearts not to be lost in earthly possessions.
To follow Christ we need a generous heart like Christ and the saints had and we be willing to give some of our possessions generously to others either in form of money, time, talents or ideas. Take time to evaluate your Christian life and see how you have used your gifts of time, money and ideas to serve God and your neighbour. Is there one more thing you might be lacking? What must you do?
Joy and Peace