2.Heb 4:12-13

"Owned by our stuff or We own our stuff?"

At first the young man said in the gospel comes across as an exceptionally good person, deferential to Jesus and somehow searching for the way of eternal life. He had kept God's commands since his youth, and Jesus looked on him with love. An ideal person, you would think, to receive the gospel. However, Jesus wanted to show him something about himself of which he was totally unaware. He was owned by his own wealth, and it had a stronger grip on him than he had on it. Jesus invited him to become free of it, he invited him to become aware of being enslaved by his own wealth.
Actually, money or wealth is not necessary evil. Even Jesus had enjoyed the food, parties and the lodging  offered by His rich friends. Also with money, you can do a lot of good like education for your children, personal basic needs as well as charitable works. But with money we do a lot of evil too. With money we can bribe, buy votes especially during election, hire goons and abuse people. 

The issue at hand is an attitude of mind towards wealth. In relation with God's Kingdom money should not be an end in itself, rather money should be the means to attain an end. At deeper level  the fact is that I own nothing, absolutely. My hold on things is provisional, temporary. A sudden stroke, a brain haemorrhage or a heart attack, and I am separated for ever from all my worldly belongings. " There is no pocket in the shroud." There was a narrow entrance at the side of the temple called the "needle." It is wide enough for a camel to pass through, but only if the load was removed from the camel's back. With the panniers of goods the camel normally carried on either side, it would be impossible to pass through the Needle gate. How hard it is for people who are weighed  down with money and ambitions to enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God belongs to the poor in spirit; not so much economically poor ,but detached from riches in their inmost spirit. For a worthy cause, they can part with their wealth.
On the other hand, poverty or being poor is not a necessarily value in itself. For example a poor who always curses his life because of his poverty, whose only obsession is to be rich like his wealthy neighbor is indeed very poor. But if despite his/her poverty, can still turn to God, pray, worship to him; very active in the church activities and mission and help his/her fellow men, then poverty becomes a Christian virtue. Detachment from material wealthy is a one way of our attachment to God.
There are some who give up everything to follow Jesus. He does not call everybody to do this. He did not ask Lazarus or his sisters to leave home and follow him. However, being a follower of Jesus does not mean having to leave something. It involves a change of priorities, a new way of valuing things, an interest in the riches that are stored in heaven, "where moth cannot consume, nor rust corrode."

Engaging in serious conversation

The young man in our gospel today tries to be a good person by following all the prescriptions of the law of his religion and on that account he did not fail. He was so very proud of this. When Jesus saw this, Jesus was also very happy and so He invites him to be His close friend. Nevertheless, what Jesus wants from him is to do more of what he did before. Sad to say the rich young man does not like the proposal of Jesus: to sell everything he has, give them to the poor and follow Him so that he can inherit God's kingdom and life eternal.

Jesus gave full attention to people who turned up, wanting to talk to him. In our morning's gospel, we are told that Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put the question to him,  ' What must I do to inherit eternal life?' At this point in Mark's gospel, Jesus is on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem; this was the most important journey of his life. When the gospel says that Jesus was setting out on a journey, the evangelist was stating that Jesus intended to journey on further in the direction of Jerusalem. However, the unexpected arrival  of this man with his burning question held Jesus back and prevented him from setting out on his planned journey, Jesus gave him his full attention. 

The present moment was all important to Jesus. What he planned to do always took second place to the call that was made on him in the here and now. Jesus teaches us to take seriously  the call of the present moment. This man who turned up out of nowhere made a call on Jesus, and Jesus responded, even though the call was unexpected and cut across what he had planned. The call of the present moment can take all kinds of unexpected forms for us, and yet it is there that the Lord very often meets us and we meet him.

The man made an unexpected call on Jesus, ' what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus went on to make an expected call, on this man, ' Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor....then follow me. This was a call for this man. This was his call of the present moment. This is what Jesus was asking him here and now. Jesus' call on this man was as unexpected as this man's call on Jesus. The man's reaction to Jesus' call shows how unexpected it was. In first place the man had run up to Jesus, breathless, with his burning question, ' What must I do to inherit eternal life?', in response to Jesus' answer to his question we are told that ' his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.' His excited running a way to Jesus gave way to his sad walk away from Jesus. The call of the present moment  was too much for him to hear, and the fruit of his refusal to hear it was sadness of heart, a heaviness of spirit. He was attached to his belongings; he could not let go of them, even though letting go of them and throwing in his lot wholeheartedly with Jesus was his particular calling in life.

Jesus really knows our inner most untouchable  beings than we can imagine

Dear brothers and sisters as we celebrate this Sunday we are all invited to welcome Jesus and be open to him to touch our inmost lives that we would not want anybody to hear, to be said about. The rich young man in the gospel, did everything right as the law demanded, he justified himself before Jesus to be holy, yet in his life he lacked something substantial, this was his personal affair of  which he did not like it  to be touched, discussed or be shared with others, and this was his personal  possessions. There many aspects in our lives that can be of great help to our brothers and sisters in need, we tend to make them untouchables and private. The call to us all in our today's readings is to open our hearts and minds, and thus invite Jesus to intervene in our lives and thus let him give us a guidance to do a right thing in responding to his call at the moment.

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Chapisha Maoni