Homily for the twenty-eighth Sunday of the Year - Year B - Mk. 10:17-30


by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 

" As Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, «Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?» And Jesus said to him, «Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother." » And he said to him, «Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.» And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, «You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.» At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.


" And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, «How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!» And the disciples were amazed at his 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 a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.» And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, «Then who can be saved?» Jesus looked at them and said, «With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.»


" Peter began to say to him, «Lo, we have left everything and followed you.» Jesus said, «Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.» "




Homily:


" As Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, «Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?» "


Someone runs up to Jesus, probably because he had heard that Jesus was a good and charitable person. The Love of God that is in Jesus draws to him this man who is unnamed by the evangelist, but who can be considered an example for every man or woman to whom this narrative is addressed. All of us have already received, or will receive one day or another, this calling of grace, this invitation from God to come to him. And we will indeed go to him, for his grace is almighty: we will go to Christ to ask him, with the help of his grace, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" But what will we do afterwards? The grace of God is certainly almighty, but man remains free! Will we keep our liberty for ourselves? Or instead will we entrust it to God in order that he might keep it eternally in him?


" And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, «You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.» At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. "


The grace of God draws us to Jesus, it leads us to him in order that we might learn to know him in a perfect love. But this love of Jesus is demanding: the Christian religion is a demanding religion, a religion that asks men and women to follow Christ, renouncing themselves as well as all other creatures. In short, he who wants to be joined to the person of Jesus through the love that is of knowledge and life must renounce keeping his own life for himself: he must entrust it to God in order that God might keep it in himself eternally! The love of Jesus is demanding, for Jesus is God, and we must wholly belong to God, the Creator and Lord of all things! Man's very salvation depends on this! This is why Jesus speaks these redoubtable words: "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"


" 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 a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.» And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, «Then who can be saved?» Jesus looked at them and said, «With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.» "


Salvation is something that is humanly impossible: without the grace of God, no one could be saved! But with the powerful help of grace, it becomes possible: "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." For this, we must give everything to God: we must, in spirit, be ready to give him everything if he were to ask us to do so. Above all, we must be ready to give ourselves wholly to God. The Apostles did this, and, following them, so did a multitude of men and women who were, throughout the ages, true and fervent Christians. Moreover, Saint Peter did not hesitate to testify to this: "Peter began to say to him, «Lo, we have left everything and followed you.» "


" Jesus said, «Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.» "


This is extraordinary: when we have given all to God, in spirit or in reality, the Lord himself fills us with his gifts, both spiritual and temporal. And what more magnificent gift does he give us than the one he gives every day, every Sunday: the gift of his Eucharist! Indeed, how can we not think that this precious gift of the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of our giving of ourselves to God? The more we have the intention of giving ourselves to the Lord, the more his Eucharist will be for us the most precious and inestimable gift there could ever be! Let us ask Mary for this grace, the grace of the gift of self, the grace of giving our liberty to Jesus, her Son, the Son of God himself! May today's communion give us a greater reverence for the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ!



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