Gospel: Mark 10:17-27
Just as Jesus was setting out on his journey again, a man ran up, knelt before him and asked, “Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life?”
Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: Do not kill; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not cheat; honor your father and mother.” The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commandments since my childhood.” Then Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him; and he said, “For you, one thing is lacking. Go, sell what you have, and give the money to the poor; and you will have riches in heaven. Then, come, and follow me.” On hearing these words, his face fell and he went away sorrowful, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus insisted, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were more astonished than ever and wondered, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus looked steadily at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”
“Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him.”
If there is one gospel text that recurs with regularity in the lives of the saints, it is the story of Jesus and the“rich young man”who came looking for the deepest meaning of life. (“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”) Jesus told him,“Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and come follow me.”He was not calling this young man to a life of misery but to a new life, richer than anything he had known before. St. Mark notes significantly that Jesus looked on the man “and loved him.” But evidently this was both too much and at the same time not enough for him. Perhaps he would have preferred a list of “five principles,” or “ten easy steps.” He wanted “eternal life,” but not at the price of any significant change in his own life; certainly not at the expense of his wealth. And so he went sadly away.
For so many of the saints this story represented the pivotal choice for their own lives. Would they respond to Jesus’ challenge and invitation or would they too, like the young man in the story, walk sadly away? Either way Jesus looks on with love. The choice is ours.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019