Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
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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, …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.
This Gospel passage could not have come at a more opportune time as we approach the Lenten season.
What must I do to inherit eternal life? What a great question. I must say I was surprised at the Lord’s initial response: 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.” Typical answer.
What is not typical is the young man’s response: “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Wow! Are you serious? This kid is a saint!
What follows next is simply shocking: “Go, sell what you have, give it to the poor, and come follow me.”
The young man’s face fell. He went away sad.
I don’t know about you, but I’m confused. He was following the Commandments but could not follow the Commander???
My question is: So what motivated this young man to keep the commandments in the first place? It couldn’t have been sacrificial love; you know, the kind that feels great and hurts just as much. No, it must have been something else. Who knows. I think the poor kid was confused.
But the Lord must have loved him anyways, for He invited him to take his faith and allow it to challenge him. Sell what you have, give it to the poor and follow me. Come on! Do it! Let’s go!!!
This Lent, allow the Lord to challenge your faith. Let him punch some holes into it. Let him turn your life upside down (actually, right-side-up). Let him shake you through-and-through. Let him make your head spin.
Christ is the most amazing person who ever lived because he unites things together like no one has done before.
Rich and poor. Christ was amazingly wealthy; and yet, he lived a very poor lifestyle. And although He had all the power in the world, He almost never used it for himself. The Lord is both rich and poor.
Master and slave. The Lord is our Master. But He is also our slave, which is the real reason why we allow Him to be our Master. His power does not come from might but from right. Though He deserves to be in the front of the line, He places Himself at the back of it. And because of it, we love Him so much that we are willing to do whatever He wants from us.
Wild and faithful. The Lord knows how to have a great time. He is a party animal. He is the life of the party. Wherever He goes, jaws drop to the floor. He speaks to sinners. He eats with sinners. He hugs sinners. He loves sinners! He touches the lepers. He touches the dead. He forgive the prostitutes and invites himself over to the homes of tax collectors. He is wild and faithful.
Old and New. Jesus is the incarnation of God. He is the flesh and bones of the Old Testament. He is to be feared. He is someone that deserves our respect. He is a force to be reckoned with. But he is also the face of God never seen before. He is meek and humble of heart. He is understanding and compassionate. He abides by the Law and yet he bends for those who are feeling the weight of it. He loves the Law, but He loves us even more. He may have written the Law with his own finger, but He created us with all His being. The Lord is Old and New; the past and future; forever and forever more.
How confusing! No! How inspiring!
This Lent, make sure to work hard at being confusing. That’s right: Be confusing. But don’t get confused.
Be a Christian. Don’t be boring. Don’t be predictable. Set forth in a way that is sure and certain and react in a way that is hardly ever seen. That’s a bit confusing. That’s a bit like Christ. Be a Christian. Be Christ-like. (0)
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