Today's Gospel: Mark 10:17-27
The tradition of the church tells us that the story of this rich man did not end with today’s gospel. Even though he went away sad, he had experienced the voice and the love of Jesus. We are comforted by the hope that in the end he chose heavenly treasure over earthly treasure.
But in this passage we see the struggle of one who discovers that “playing by the rules” is not all it takes to please God. This man observed all the commandments from his youth. He wanted to be in right relationship with God, and he obeyed what he understood. This was the right thing to do. It’s just that he wasn’t aware that the disposition of our hearts matters at least as much as our actions. His wealth and possessions were – at least on this day – more important to him than following Jesus.
Those of us living 2,000 years later have the advantage of knowing the New Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” We too have experienced the voice and the love of Jesus, and we strive to follow Him. But the disposition of our hearts doesn’t always match how we believe we are obeying. We may FEEL loving toward our brothers and sisters in Christ. Yet when we choose a new TV over a donation to the food pantry, or disparaging those who don’t agree with us on some issue over trying to find common ground, we may be like a camel trying to pass through a needle’s eye.
It is hard for ANYONE to enter the Kingdom of God. Let us give thanks that “All things are possible for God.”
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What do I have (material, spiritual, or emotional) that is keeping me from following the Lord?
Lord, help me to dispose my heart to hear Your voice, and to follow You wherever you may lead. I truly desire to enter Your kingdom. Amen.
Copyright 2017 (Salome) Ellen Thomas
Ellen Thomas has been married to Roger for 35 years, and has 6 children, 5 children-in-law, and 15 grandchildren (as of the end of 2016.) She loves knitting, reading (mysteries and sci-fi are among her favorites,) singing in the choir, and cooking lots of food for family and friends. She lives near a Great Lake in Michigan.