October 11, 2015 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
The young man ran up to Jesus. There was an urgency. The young man knelt down before Jesus. There was a deep respect.
We must understand that the young man who approached Jesus was a very good man. This young man loved God very much and followed the commandments.
The gospel writer takes the time to tell us that Jesus looked at the young man and loved him. Jesus desired more from the young man. Jesus wanted a deeper relationship with the young man.
The young man asks the question, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus is actually saying to the young man, “you’ve done all the things you need to do to inherit the gift of eternal life.”
The answer is simple, “Keep the commandments.” Do not lie. Do not steal. Do not commit adultery. Honor your father and mother.
But that was not enough for the young man He desired more. He longer for a closer walk with the Lord. “What more must I do?”
Jesus responds, “Go sell all your possessions, give to the poor and come follow me.”
In essence, Jesus is saying, “I am calling you to be a better version of your yourself. I am saying you can do better than that. I am calling you to come and follow me.”
What can I do to inherit eternal life? Nothing. You can’t do anything to earn eternal life. It is a gift. In giving us this gift, God has acted in love. What God expects in return is the gift of love.
That’s what Jesus wanted from the young man. Jesus was looking for the young man to share his life with others, to share his wealth with others, to share his possessions with others.
Let us look at the obstacles to a good response? Possessions. The problem with riches is not that they are riches. The problem with riches is that we make them precious. Jesus says our love for God must be first.
Can we approach Jesus with some urgency? Can we kneel down before him out of respect?
And can we accept the call to share our life with others, to share our wealth with others, to share our possessions with others and then follow the Lord.
The young man walks away sad. Let us not walk away from Jesus’ invitation. In this way, we will be given the gift of eternal life.