The Gospel according to Mark (Mk 10:17-27)
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
Reflection: Just this past weekend, Connie and I attended the Football Banquet for our son Anthony. The head coach eloquently spoke about the motto that was implemented by the team this year which was “Bridge builders”. He embraced this concept from the city of La Puente (English translation is the Bridge) which is where the school is. He said that he is proud to be in a city of hard-working families that work hard to improve their lives. Coach spoke about how they too are a blue-collar team that works hard for their success and there are no rewards in coasting thru practice or games. Therefore, these lessons become life experiences so his players will learn how to persevere in their careers & lives. Coach also said that he doesn’t give trophies, such as MVP awards, to his team because it takes the whole team to learn how to work together to be successful. Therefore, the punter, the scrimmage squad, and the team managers are just as important which makes all of them valuable or MVP’s.
I believe that this rich man in the Gospel already knew the answer to his question but maybe he was hoping that Jesus would give him a break. In the Old Testament wealth and material goods are considered a sign of God’s favor. Since wealth, power, and merit generate false security, Jesus rejects them utterly as a claim to enter the kingdom. Achievement of salvation is beyond human capability and depends solely on the goodness of God who offers it as a gift. In our society today, we treat the rich differently and they expect to be first before anyone else. But when things boil down to the truth, in the Kingdom of God, are they any different then you or me?
Life is not easy, and we must work hard for our personal growth and spiritual development. We know what needs to be done, we know the commandments, and the “Beatitudes” but sometimes we choose to steer away from them. It’s up to us to keep that bridge up and to build new ones. That is what our mission is in order for us to enter the Kingdom of God. We are the Bridge Builders.
Action of the Day: Focus on your efforts to look for opportunities to serve others whom Jesus has placed in your path.