Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
“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.”
Yes, God alone is good because God alone is the source of all good. In today’s gospel reading, our Blessed Lord, directs the man’s compliment of ‘good teacher’ towards God. Every Jew knows that only the one true God is perfectly good. Surely, this rich man was sincere in his quest to know how to inherit eternal life. But was he sincerely willing to pursue the path of that inheritance? As his conversation continues with the Teacher, we find that he ends up holding on to his worldly inheritance more tightly and than on to the path of eternal life. Does this situation sound familiar to you? Jesus knows very well, these inner battles…and his response is love and understanding…instead of instant condemnation.
There will always be Christians who resemble this man. Christians who fulfil many religious obligations, obey the commandments diligently, do works of charity, be hospitable to people and so on. However, they fail to realise that God desires much more than these from the one who desires Him. By asking us to empty ourselves just as He did to this rich young man, our Lord Jesus desires that we first live as heirs of His kingdom in order to inherit His Kingdom. How can we possess something which is not rightfully ours? Following Christ, especially in our emptiness is a fact because our Lord Himself promised in 2 Cor 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.
Most of us truly lack this one thing that our Lord desires. Total emptying of ourselves. Total abandonment to his grace. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, the camel will never pass through the eye of a needle as far as logic is concerned. But holiness is beyond logic, because we are life is beyond mortality. A person like the young & rich Francis of Assisi, who gave up his richness literally, followed and depended on His Lord Jesus totally. The one who is completely detached from everything precious, sentimental or reliable in this world. Such a child of God can hope to inherit eternal life. So, what’s it going to be? Your choice will decide your true inheritance. God bless you. Shalom!