Gospel Reflection: Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute



OCTOBER 11, 2015

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint Mark 10: 17-30

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 human beings it is impossible, but not for God.  All things are possible for God.”

Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.”  Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

The Gospel of the Lord



Finally, Saint Mark in his Gospel gets to the meat of the matter, the real question all people of good will have in their hearts: Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

Like the man of the Gospel, we too know the Ten Commandments, and as disciples of Jesus we also know the commands of Jesus that sum-up and fulfill all of God’s commands:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.   There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12:30-31).

Again, like the man of the Gospel we try daily to keep the commands of Christ!  Yet, we sense that there is still something lacking.  Our spiritual intuition, the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, the Wisdom of God alerts us that there has to be more!  Just avoiding evil does not seem to be enough for a truly enthusiastic disciple of Jesus.  And we are correct!  Being perfect, like God, is the true aim of spiritual life in Christ!  But how can we be perfect?  And so, we exclaim: Then who can be saved?

Now the Gospel in all its boldness proclaims the voice of God, the answer of Jesus Christ:  For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.  All things are possible for God.   For humans becoming good, becoming holy like God is impossible.  Do we believe this, or do we act like we can save ourselves — make ourselves good and holy?  Christ clearly states that only God can do this, and that He desires to do this for us.  All things are possible for God, even making sinners like us into saints.

It is only in the daily practice of prayer in which we surrender ourselves into the transforming hands of Christ that God can make us like Himself.  Only by the power of God can we emerge from prayer and follow Christ: sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.

Giving ourselves totally to Christ and following Him completely is a life-long process of surrendering into His hand so that He can transform us into true, self-sacrificing disciples like Himself!  Amen!  Amen!


Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com


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