REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 10, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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?” Mk. 10:17
What do I price most? What is my idol? What is my wealth? What is it that I cannot let go? What are the things possessing me such that I have become a prisoner of them? How much am I attached to material things? These are questions we could ponder on sometimes in our lives.
Our gospel reference today forms part of Jesus’ encounter with a man seeking for life. It had a good beginning with question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” This was an honest question every Christin should ask his/herself. What do we need to do as individual to inherit eternal life? The man was wealthy, and his question was grounded in faith. By asking Jesus what He must do to inherit eternal life, this man most likely believed that Jesus had the answer. And in his excitement, he wanted direction from Jesus.
Jesus told him that he must keep the Commandments, to which the young man responded that he has observed them from his youth. But then Jesus said something that this young man never expected Him to say. He said, “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.” This must have stung this rich young man in the heart. Hearing this young man walked away sad.
The young man started with good intentions. But good intentions are not enough. Following Jesus and gaining eternal life is an all-consuming and radical commitment of every part of our lives. It is not enough to tell Jesus that we will keep the Commandments. Going to heaven should be our primary desire. So how do we obtain Heaven?
We only obtain Heaven through a life of perfection. Yes, it’s true. If we want Heaven, we must ultimately become perfect in every way. Every worldly attachment must disappear, and every sin must be overcome. Our good intentions must turn into a radical and total gift of self to Jesus, seeking Him and only Him.
The rich young man walked away sad because he failed to realize that Jesus’ invitation to him to give everything away was an act of love. He did not understand that he would find happiness in this radical commitment to follow Christ.
Reflect, today, upon the radical call of Jesus in your life. He wants every part of your life. You may have good intentions of trying to be good, but are you willing to go all the way following Christ in a full and unlimited way?
Lord, I love You, and I want to love You more. I want to love You with my whole being. Help me to realize that following You requires a radical and complete gift of myself to You. May I be ready and willing to let go of any attachment in life that keeps me from following You. Jesus, I trust in You.