Gifts to the Church → Reliance on the Lord
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
Perhaps somewhere deep inside of us we know that this is true, but because we are human, and because we tend to have a feeling that we are capable of doing many things, the humble acceptance of God’s power and control can be difficult. Our readings on this 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time look at our spiritual lives and at our desire for independence, but they also reveal our need and reliance on the Lord.
Our Gospel reading from St. Mark presents to us a situation that may make us uncomfortable. Jesus is confronted by a young man of means who asks what he must do to “inherit eternal life.” The Lord’s reply is straightforward presenting again the Commandments given us by God. Nevertheless, when the young man responds that he has followed the commandments faithfully, Jesus adds another proviso:
“Go sell what you have, and give to the poor…then come follow me.”
The young man walks away dejectedly, for he obviously had much.
One thing we must understand in this reading is that the affluent young man thought eternal life was something you earned, something you deserved if you lived as you should. Jesus wants more than obedience; He wants us to relate to Him and to one another. All of our readings address the thought that God can see deeply into our hearts. The Lord knows what we are thinking and feeling. That is what is happening here; Jesus sees into the young man’s heart, and perceives that his wealth is a stumbling block to salvation. Jesus is not saying everyone must give everything away, but He is saying we must be prepared to follow Him, no matter how problematic that might be.
Jesus reminds His followers that as demanding as following Him and leading a Christian life may be,
“All things are possible for God.”
Our task is to pray, to seek what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do, to search for guidance through the Word of God, and then to commit ourselves not only to living as we should as good stewards, but also to incorporate our Savior and His Word into our very hearts.
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