13 – 14 October 2018
“If you take things from people, they are impoverished; but if you get them to give them up, they are enriched.” People are essentially good, but this goodness has to be awakened and called forth, if they are to enter the kingdom of love.”
This weekend’s Gospel tells the story of the rich young man who approached Jesus asking this question ‘Good master, what must I do to gain eternal life?’ We wonder why he came to Jesus as surely he must have been happy with his financial success – his social standing yet-perhaps, just perhaps there was something he saw and admired in Jesus for him to call him’ Good Master’, that led him to look in on himself. Whatever the observation it took him on a path of an inner search, that endeared him to Jesus.
No doubt this young man led a good life having kept the commandments since his days of youth, a respected young man the kind of son any parent would be proud of. In essence what he was saying was: ‘I haven’t killed, stolen, committed adultery, I haven’t dishonoured my parents. We tend to regard this as the highest criterion of virtue. But it is a negative criterion.
Having had no blot on his copybook sure, but did that mean he was an outstanding young man? Well Jesus was about to test him. He saw this young man was capable of more- he offered him a new vision of goodness – a positive one, this consisted in doing good.
He said to him. ‘If you want to be perfect, sell all you have. Give it to the poor. Then come back and follow me, and you will have treasure in heaven’. Religion doesn’t merely appeal to our weaknesses, but also to our strengths.
Unfortunately, the young man wasn’t up to the challenge, returning to his old comforts, he went away sad. Why sad? Because sadness falls on those who say ‘no’ to love and choose to live for themselves.
Jesus let him go. He respected his freedom as there is no point in forcing people to make sacrifices. This is an important message for us. This is a discipleship story. Love of material possessions and comforts is one of the chief obstacles in the way of discipleship.
No way does selling what you have mean – that a disciple must be destitute. The life of the poor, with its hardships and suffering, is not set forth in Mark’s Gospel as an ideal for the Christian disciple. The question remains what sacrifices are we willing to make for the sake of the kingdom?
Every one of our families have witnessed the generosity and sacrifices of our parents and family members because there is love. In the Diocese of Sale we have many priests and religious who have left their homelands and embraced a culture completely different to theirs We have in our Cathedral Parish many volunteers serving in the many ministries that give witness to Jesus’ Kingdom being a Kingdom of love and peace.
Disciples who are living witnesses that Jesus’ kingdom is a kingdom of love and service. in our parish and I am proud of them all-it is a pleasure to be your parish priest and I know too, it is a pleasure for Fr Solomon to know and love you and serve you as he does so generously.
Final Blessing on all parishioners
May you gain wisdom of heart in the love of the Lord
May you walk before the Lord with blameless hearts.
With every good wish many prayers and love