28th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’ 28e dimanche du Temps Ordinaire, année ’B’

« Jesus looked steadily at him and was filled with love for him. »
Vendredi 9 octobre 2015

Sg.7,7-11 Ps.89 He.4,12-13 Mk.10,17-30

28th SUNDAY of Ordinary Time , year ’B’

« Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt befoe him and put this question to him, ’Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life ?’ Jesus said to 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 give false witness ; You shall not defraud ; Honour your father and mother. » And he said to him, ’Master, I have observed all these since my earliest childhood.« Jesus said to him, ’Why do you call me good ? » We are not to’flatter’ Jesus to get a present from Heaven. This man’s faith still needs to be purified, for he would like Jesus to add goods of the earth to goods in Heaven. Jesus replies to him :’ Do not commit murder, do not commit adultery, do no steal, do not bear false witnesses, do not wrong people, honour your father and mother.« And straightawy this man replies to Jesus : » But Lord, all that, I have observed.« He does indeed know the Law but Jesus wants him to go further. » It is living, the Word of God. It penetrates deep down in one’s soul, judging the thoughts and intentions of the heart.« This man came to find Joy in Jesus ,to seek the one his heart was looking for, eternal life, happiness that is awaiting all of mankind. This situation is really full of promise. But this happiness can only join us if we are totally rid of ourselves. »Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, ’You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, then come and follow me.’

Encountering the Love of Jesus, this man had found what he was looking for. Love must have welled up from within his heart ! ’Go, ’said Jesus ’and sell all you have and give it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in Heaven ; then come, follow me." If this man was rightly disposed and rid of himself, he could have encountered the Kingdom of God he was seeking and he would have been happy. There is something very mysterious that is being played out in this refusal. We are joined in our life by Saint Francis of Assisi who heard God’s word and answered his call. The joy becomes one he shared with many saints who responded to the Call of God with the same fervour. As for this man, his face darkened and hewent away all sad. Th evengelist Mark underlines that he

had many goods. Jesus’ Love doesn’t correspond with what this man was seeking ! When Jesus proposes that we follow him, if we have many goods we can be generous and get others to particpate in it. It is in this participation that we find joy in our hearts.

« Jesus gazed at them and said, ’By human ressources it is impossible, but not for God because for God everything is possible. »

This man went away all saddened, Jesus didn’t give him the reply he was expecting. Having great goods, that he maybe considered to be a blessing from Heaven, he was expecting to get on top of all this, something else as well : spititual goods. We are in a logic of ’having’,a place of closing in upon oneself. Jesus shows that if we want to enter into the way of love, eternal life, the goods won’t be a bother but are the place of sharing, of offering and of thanksgiving. ’Go, sell what you possess and give them to the poor and follow me.« The sadness of this ’young rich man has touched Jesus’ Heart. He looked at him and began to love him. His face was no doubt very happy and fulfilled looking at Jesus first of all. But when this man’s face began to sadden, a certain ’agony’ joined Jesus’ Heart. This man’s sadness will strike Jesus’ heart very strongly in the centre . In his agony Jesus will say ’I am sad, sad unto death.’ This sadness is about it touches upon the refusal of the Kingdom. It is quite mysterious that this man came to ask him what he must do to inherit eternal life and that, when the response of Truth was given to him, he went away all saddened. He wasn’t seeking the Kingdom, he was seeking himself. This sadness took hold of Jesus’ heart. He said to his disciples ’How hard it is for those who are rich to enter into the Kingdom of God. » It is not just a question of material riches. Rich people can do alot of good around them. It is a question of acquiring a poverty that is capable of letting God take life in us in such a way as to encounter Him. For man, this is impossible, but not for God.

We ask for the grace to know the reasons for our sadness, what can be an obstacle to God’s Kingdom.