Gospel Reflections

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 10:17-30

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Tess Rynn

Published: October 11, 2015

Read Mark 10:17-30

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit... Read More…

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  The rich young man felt he had made a pretty good job of things in having faithfully kept the commandments all is life. The Lord loved him for this, but wanted more. He asked for a radical commitment – “sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.”  Was this enough to entice the young man? Seemingly it was not and he went away sad. He genuinely wanted to ‘inherit eternal life,‘  but it was all too much; the cost too great.

Like the young man the treasure in heaven is not always enough to entice us either. We often hesitate, fearing that the cost is too great and fearing that, "lest having him I must have naught beside." (The Hound of Heaven)  We console ourselves with the thought that we are not doing too badly: ‘I pray, I am kind and generous, I care for other people, and I am trying to live a good life.’  All this may be laudable and true, but there is more. There is always more! Letting go of familiar props and supports can sometimes take courage, but until we do that we will not know what treasures the Lord has in store. The invitation is new, it is unique, and it is an invitation never given before and never to be given again in quite the same way.

So what is this reluctance about? Is it perhaps something to do with our first reading, something to do with understanding?

“I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I entreated, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.”

Prayer, then, is at the heart of understanding. I really do not have to look outside myself. Within my very being, in touch with the God of Wisdom, I am given all that I need, “the spirit of wisdom came to me.” It’s all there for the taking -- the insight, the courage, and the desire, with everything I might need to respond to the radical call, whatever that means for me personally. Growing more deeply into the love of God is living my life to the fullest, it is a ‘coming home’ to that inner world of my deepest desires and greatest fulfilment.

If I ask that question today: What must I do? Am I ready for the answer? Am I ready to hear those words, “sell everything you have,”  and am I ready to follow the Lord, whatever the implications, wherever they may lead? We have heard it said so often that the present is all we have. This moment is your life. Let it be a ‘wisdom moment!’

Listening to my ‘wisdom moment’
In one of her poems, Mary Oliver, asks:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

How would I answer that now, at this very moment?


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