Based on the Gospel of St. Mark 10:17-30
“Oh, that’s asking a lot!” That must have been what the young man in this Sunday’s Gospel thought after he asked Jesus what he must do to get to heaven.
The young man was rich – nice home, good clothes, plenty of food – and had everything any person could want. He was a good young man who obeyed his parents, treated others with kindness, did not steal or cheat, and always told the truth. He always tried to follow God’s commandments.
One day he asked Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus looked at him lovingly and saw his goodness. Then Jesus said, “There’s one thing you still need to do. You must sell everything you own and give the money to the poor. Then, come and follow me.”
The young man really loved Jesus, but he didn’t want to give up all the things he owned. Sadly, he turned and walked away.
Jesus told his disciples it is sometimes hard for rich people to understand what heaven is all about. Jesus was asking for the young man’s heart, not just that he follow God’s commandments.
Jesus wants us to do good things for him, but he also wants us to trust him. Jesus wants to come into our hearts so that he can help us live our faith with trust and joy.
Jesus isn’t against money. Riches or money itself are not the problem. It’s when they become the most important part of people’s lives and what people do with them that cause the trouble. Jesus just wants us to love him more and to love others more than we love money or things.
To know and obey the commandments is not enough. For every commandment that tells us not to do something, there is something we are to do. Here’s Jesus’ “to do” list for us: Pray, forgive, share, help, give and love!
Wow! Doing everything on that list is not always easy. Now what will you do? Will you say, “That’s asking a lot!” and, like the rich young man, turn, and walk away from Jesus? Or, each day will you offer your heart to Jesus and say, “Help me, Jesus, to follow you, to trust in you and to love you with all my heart” – even though sometimes it may be hard?