For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” This was the question the man in our Gospel this Sunday posed to Jesus. (If we are honest, I suspect that, if we had the opportunity, all of us would love to ask Jesus this question.) Jesus responded to the man by reminding him of the commandments. But the man told him: “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” We are then told that Jesus looked 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.” In response to this, we are told: “At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”
I think there are a couple things that need to be said about this Gospel. First, the man was obviously very sincere in his question. I also have to wonder, though, if he wasn’t looking for just “one” thing he could do to guarantee that he would inherit eternal life, and then he could live and do as he pleased. The reality is, though, that we have to do more than “one” thing to inherit eternal life. Following Jesus impacts all the whole of our lives --- all that we say and do. Second, though, I think we also need to be clear that selling all that he had and giving it to the poor was ultimately what the man in this Sunday’s Gospel had to do in order to follow Jesus. For each of us there is something that ultimately we will have to do follow Jesus. What this is will be different for each person.
Our first reading today from the Book of Wisdom, shares the theme of the Gospel. It reminds us that riches are deemed nothing in comparison to having prudence and wisdom.
In our second reading today from the Letter to the Hebrews we are reminded that: “the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- The man in our Gospel this weekend was asked to sell what he had and give to the poor in order to follow Jesus. What do you think Jesus is asking you to do in order to follow him?
- How would you define prudence and wisdom?
- Have you ever felt “convicted” by the word of God?