As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother."
He replied and said to him,
"Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."
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.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
"How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
"Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
"Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,
"For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God."
Peter began to say to him,
"We have given up everything and followed you."
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."
Prayer: Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Amen
The intersection between the ‘rich young man’s attachments’ and our Lord’s Love for him, is the place of encounter. The rich young man is sharing with Jesus about following the laws of God, how he has observed them in his life, which is quite extraordinary. “And he said to Him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.” And Jesus looking upon him loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” He calls Jesus “Teacher” not Lord, not Master. Jesus is not yet “Lord of his life, he is not yet the Master of his soul”, the rich young man still is serving another ‘master’ and that ‘master’ is riches- possessions. Jesus looking upon him could see what was obstructing his freedom. Riches were pinning him down and keeping him from moving forward with Jesus. It was only “one thing” that was holding him back, yet that one thing was getting in the way of coming closer to Jesus. One thing should be easy to part with right? When Jesus spoke what it was to the man, it must have pierced that young mans heart, did he know already it was getting in the way? or? Did he know and recognize his attachment to wealth and possessions? Did he know in his ‘heart of hearts’ before Jesus even spoke, that he would be asked to part with, precisely what he felt he couldn’t live without and still be happy. Did he know and believe that possessing Jesus would fill every corner of his being and he would never need those things anymore? The devil wants us to stop here and feel the request of our Lord (to detach from what we feel we can’t do without) as impossible. Satan wants us to believe that if we part with our “treasure’ we will be unhappy. Loving Trust of Jesus, enables us to part with the lesser gods we cling to, however good they may seem, they are not God. In the movie; “A man for all Seasons, Sir Thomas More says a beautiful sentence; “ A man should not go, where a man is tempted.” What am I doing about the attachment I cling to with great avidity? Do I pray for the grace to be released from the attachment? Am I ready to be detached from it? Satan’s lures will come, but Jesus’ Love is more powerful. We must ask for the grace to cooperate with Grace, Jesus is longing to give it.
'The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it will not arrive at the liberty of divine union. For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.'
St. John of the Cross