Monday, May 27, 2013

Nothing of spiritual significance comes without sacrifice

“Self-sacrifice is the real miracle out of which all the reported miracles grow.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

(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.”

Many of us are like the man who ran up to Jesus and asked Him about everlasting life (Mk 10:17). We have kept the commandments since our childhood (Mk 10:20). We have been raised in a Christian family. Like the young man, we have "many possessions" (Mk 10:22). Also, we are not sure whether we have everlasting life.

Jesus says to each of us the same words He said to the young man: "There is one thing more you must do" (Mk 10:21). For each of us, there is a certain act of faith which would express our total surrender to the Lord. Jesus told the young man to sell what he had and give to the poor (Mk 10:21). Zacchaeus gave half of His belongings to the poor (Lk 19:8). Matthew quit His job (Mt 9:9). St. Francis of Assisi kissed a leper. The one more thing for you may be to evangelize, go to Confession, tithe, change your lifestyle, have "one more" child, forgive, apologize, quit smoking, read the Bible, go to Mass daily, fast and do penance, etc.

Have the love and courage to ask the Lord: "Is there one thing more I must do? If so, what is it?"

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