Oct 14 (Mk 10:17-30)

A little girl told an older friend that she was going to give her Father, a pair of slippers for his birthday.

“But where will you get your money?” asked the friend with concern.

The little girl opened her cute eyes wide and said:

“Why, Father will give me the money!”

For a moment the friend was silent as she thought that the father would have rather bought his own birthday present.

But then she realized, that the Father would love and appreciate the gift, given by his little daughter…

… even though he paid for it himself!

How many of us realize that “by ourselves we are nothing” and that everything is given by God – as a gift?

>>> How many of us, instead, get “attached” to material things as our own possession – and drown ourselves into the sea of sadness and gloom, when we are made to part with it?

The Gospel of the Day presents a teaching by Jesus on having proper disposition towards wealth and riches…

… with an exhortation to live a life of detachment, for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

We have the familiar passage of a young man, who approaches Jesus with a query, “… what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17)

Here is a man who had wonderful qualities, but probably had got some of his basics wrong…

He was a person interested in seeking the higher things of life…

… therefore he enquires about eternal life

>> But perhaps, he had a “calculative” notion of salvation – like a “check-list” which had things to be marked off – which assured and guaranteed him of salvation.

… The aspect of God’s Mercy and His Will was, probably, forgotten!

He was a person, who paid attention and gave much value to the commandments of God, in his life

>> But perhaps, he had got into a ‘legalistic mode’ which made him to assiduously follow the letters of the Law

… The aspect of translating the laws into practical acts of setting one’s heart on the Lawgiver was, probably, forgotten!

He was a person, who was persistent in seeking an answer from the Lord and had a great deal of confidence in his personal convictions and beliefs

>> But perhaps, he had donned a “materialistic garb”, which caused him to find it difficult to part with his material possessions

… The aspect of giving the priority to the richness of the Kingdom of God was, probably, forgotten!

It’s interesting to note the observation made by St Mark, when the man sought to justify his life of righteousness…

St Mark says, “Jesus looking at him, loved him and said to him….” (Mk 10: 21a)

It was a look of immense love and compassion…

… The Creator looking on the marvel of His creation

… The Law Giver looking on the one who sought to follow the law closely

… The Father looking on the child who is deeply loved and cared for

With this deep look of love, Jesus makes another powerful statement to the one whom he loved, “You are lacking one thing. Go, sell, what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mk 10: 21b)

True love makes a demand…

>> True love demands perfection…

>>> True love perfects the one who is loved…

Jesus, who loved the man much, wants him to be the best and perfect – in his love for God and in following Him.

But the young man had his countenance fallen…

… and he went away sorrowful (Mk 10: 22)

How often, we struggle when our Loving God demands perfection from us…

… by asking to “let go” of certain aspects in life, in order to have His Will fulfilled

… by demanding of us to be detached from material possessions, in order to let Him be the treasure of our lives

Our lives are nothing, but a gift from the Lord.

The wealth we enjoy…

The comforts we take pleasure in…

The talents with which we engage in many activities…

… are all a gift from God… to be utilized, nurtured and cherished, for the glory of God!

> None of us have any right to be possessed by it…

> None of us will find true joy in being obsessed with it…

As the Psalmist says, “I said to the LORD, ‘You are my Master! Every good thing I have, comes from you.’ (Ps 16:2)

Let the verses of the First Reading of the Day be our constant disposition:

“I prayed and understanding was given to me.

>> I called upon God and the Spirit of Wisdom came to me.

I preferred her to scepters and thrones…

… and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her!” (Wis 7:7-8)

May we realize that “by ourselves we are nothing” and that everything is given by God – as a gift!

>>> May we earnestly seek and make efforts to get “detached” from material things – and enjoy the bliss and peace that comes from having the Lord alone, as our greatest treasure!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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