As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, 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 murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’”
He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus implicitly tells his followers, “You already know how to join me in heaven.” I often hear people say things like, “I think it should be enough for God that I am a good person” or “A good God won’t turn me away as long as I try to be good too.” But this mentality is not enough – it’s not enough to simply TRY to be a good person. Being a Christian requires us to sacrifice and surrender. It is not easy to be a follower of Christ; we fail all the time, but this does not make us less Christian. What makes us Christian is our understanding that when we fail, we cannot abandon God, because God does not abandon us. We must always turn back to God, surrendering our sin and sacrificing our pride in favor of the unending love of our God.
—Sara Spittler is the First Years Chaplain and a Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
—The Jesus Prayer
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