First Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 111
Gospel: Mark 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. (Mk 10:17-22)
Remember when you were younger and the time finally came for you to take the training wheels off of your bike? I remember it being a pretty scary moment, after all those things had kept me from falling over. But my parents saw the the time was right, I had already learned the basics of riding the bike, and it was time to go deeper and truly experience the bike as it was meant to be.
In today's gospel, we read about the rich man who approached Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments; when the man said that he had done these things, Jesus then tells him that he has the basics down, but he must go deeper by selling what he has and giving to the poor. This made the man sad, because he had a lot of things that he just was not ready to part with. I also think that this made the man sad because he probably thought that there is no way that he could get by without all of his stuff. He had probably spent his life defining himself by the things that he had, but when Jesus tells him that is not the way to be, his whole world came crashing down.
Most of us have the basics of our faith down, we need to follow the commandments and live a good life. But, that is not enough. God wants us to experience this life as it we were meant to, with freedom from worldly things and complete trust and reliance on Him. Just like we could not truly experience the bike without the training wheels, we cannot experience this life if we are clinging to worldly things. It is certainly not easy to let go of the world and follow Christ, but the eternal reward that we can gain is worth anything that we must go through. As we read in 1 Peter today; "In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials."
Although no one really likes the time for the training wheels to come off, it is a necessary step. It takes a lot of courage and trust, but it is always worth. May each of us be granted the strength and courage to go deeper into our faith and to trust in God alone.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with and for all that you give. We are your humble servants, may we never veer from your path and may we always stand strong against opposition in this life. Lord, guide us and strengthen us in this world, may we be your lights to all those we come in contact with. We pray for all of those in need of conversion and those who do not know your love. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.