Challenges & Choices

Oct 10, 2018

From the desk of Fr Stephen...

In today’s gospel from Mark, we have the famous story of the rich young man. He comes to see Jesus and asks what he needs to do to inherit Eternal Life.  Jesus replies “Keep the Commandments.”  The young man says he already keeps the Commandments.  He is a good Jew.  He is a good young man.  Jesus recognizes this.  But the young man presses further, “What more must I do?”  Jesus replies “Go! sell what you have and give it to the poor.”  The young man cannot do this.  It’s a scary story actually, because who of us doesn’t want to live in comfort?  Was this message just intended for this particular young man or anyone who has wealth?  Jesus seems to be saying that if we really want to follow in his footsteps this is what we must do.  Jesus was poor on purpose.  He had the talent to become rich if he wanted to, but he chose to become poor.  He chose to suffer and die.  His was not an easy life, but if we want to truly be the friend of Jesus like most of say we want, then, we must make ourselves just like him.

Today is a special day for our parish.  Today at 4 pm we will once again hear from our own choirs, and others, songs that have inspired us and many more with the Good News.  It is important and good for us to hear such inspirational music, especially from our choirs because they are so good and talented, but the message cannot stop there.  If we truly want to let that spirit resonate with us, we must carry these songs with us as we leave church and go into the world. 

Following Jesus involves an ongoing lifestyle.  It is not something we can do only halfway.  Yes, we stumble and fall from time to time, but we must continue to try and root out anything in us that does not resonate with the Lord.  If we were one of his early followers do you think Jesus would be proud of us?  Might he have had to continue to challenge us to become better people? Would we have had to abandon everything?  Could we do it?  What would hold us back?   Being the friend of Jesus is a lot more than mere sentiment.  The gospels are full of many challenging things for us to think about.  May the Lord be with us always and especially helping us as we commit ourselves to the Lord more and more each day.