Monday, May 28, 2012

“Act and God will act”

'More determination is required to subdue the interior man than to mortify the body; and to break one's will than to break one's bones.'--St. Ignatius of Loyola

(Gospel Text: Mk 10:17-27)
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 men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God."

The last line of today’s Gospel—if read literally—can stimulate a bit of confusion, or even intimidation:  “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." (Mark 10:27)

This sort of makes sense; I know that all things are possible for God…that part I have covered.  It is the part concerning men that leads to confusion.  I know we are incomplete without God (another fact that meets logical deduction at the very least) but what about the things we do with God?  I thought the phrase I learned as a child was that all things were possible with God.

This is where the story of faith comes in.  What if we lived in such a way that we became the closest thing that we can to God himself?  Such is a crazy notion, for our human boundaries separate us by an immense level from God’s power and beauty.  But what if we reflected God to the highest extent that we are able; lived in such a way that our actions were those that God himself would make.  What if we mastered, or came close to mastering, the notion of living Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: For the Greater Glory of God.  What if we became intimate with ourselves—and our spirituality—so that we recognize that all we do is not according to our own wills and desires, but those of God?

As today’s Gospel tells us, all things are possible for God; accepting this challenge finally allows us to then recognize that all things are possible for you and I, right here, right now.

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