One of the saddest stories in the Gospel has so much to teach us today
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 14, 2018): WIS 7:7-11; PS 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17; HEB 4:12-13; MK 10:17-30
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today’s Gospel recounts the story of a man who asks Jesus’ guidance.
He wants to know what he has to do to have eternal life. When our Lord tells him to keep the commandments, the man assures Him that he has obeyed them all his life. Now Christ asks for something more, much more. “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” (Mark 10:21-22).
Here is a man who has seen our Savior and heard His personal calling to become one of His disciples. But now we see how his wealth has come between him and Christ. The riches that the people of that time period considered to be a blessing were, in fact, holding him back in his desire for heaven. He depended on his money. He was attached to the comfort, privilege and power it provided. It was more important to that man than his relationship with God and he had never even realized it. Jesus loved him, but it was not enough because he let himself matter more. No wonder “he went away sad.” Perhaps he later repented and put God first, perhaps not. But two thousand years later, it is for us to decide what – or Who – comes first in our life now and for eternity.