Gospel Reading: 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.”
REFLECTION What must I do to inherit eternal life?
The man who asks this question must be well catechized in his religion. As a Jew, in his early age, he is mentored by his father to love God and neighbor. Now he asks Jesus what to do to merit eternal life.
Jesus readily entertains him. He reminds him of the Decalogue. As a grown-up, the man wants something more because he has been keeping the commandments since childhood.
Jesus shows admiration for this man. Then, he challenges him to be less – this is the one thing he lacks. In concrete, (1) he must sell his assets (detachment); (2) he must give to the poor (charity and justice), and he will have treasure in heaven (spiritual wealth); and (3) he must follow Jesus (discipleship); he will be a disciple of Jesus full of treasure.
Jesus’ challenge does not sit well with the man, and he goes away sad. He has many possessions; he cannot afford to give away what he has been working for in this life.
The disciples cannot swallow Jesus’ teaching. They conclude that if it is as Jesus says, no one will be saved. But Jesus begs to differ. God makes all things possible. His three points stand.
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.