By Lucy Johnson
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” ~ Mark 10:17-30
One way of acknowledging our faith journey is to pause and reflect on how we’ve grown in our understanding of Scripture. Today’s Gospel story of the rich man is a perfect example for me.
As a youth, when this Gospel, or a similar one, was read at Mass, I could be sure of a ‘follow-up homily’ coming at home. My mother’s perspective was that my father placed far too great importance on money. Although not a rich man, he did feel tremendous responsibility for providing for his large family. Mom’s philosophy, on the other hand, was to trust God. Meanwhile, my fixation lay on the imagery of squeezing a camel through the eye of a needle.
As an adult, this Gospel would make me feel uncomfortable. Was I giving away enough money to the poor? What about the homeless on the street corners with signs asking for help? Was I more like my father than my mother? Was I accumulating too many possessions?
In recent years, I’ve come to realize that I’m in this Gospel story, but I’m not the rich man. I’m standing next to him. Now it’s my turn to ask Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus’ answer for me is different, as I am different; however, I find it just as difficult. What is Jesus asking me to do?
Jesus looks deep into my heart, sees my faults and sins, and loves me just the same. He asks me to do likewise, to examine what in my life I need to give away in order to follow Him. Maybe it’s curbing my tongue, being more humble, saying “yes” when I want to say “no.” Perhaps I need to give more of myself, my time as well as more treasure to those in need.
What are your obstacles that get in the way of His invitation to “come, follow me?”
Lord, help me to see myself in this Gospel, standing next to the rich man, responding to Jesus’ call to “come, follow me.”
Call to Action
In silence, take some time to pray and reflect on Mark 10:17-30. Ponder what is being asked of you to follow Jesus more closely and completely.
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