Prayer of the Day
Eight Week of the YearMay 23rd, 2016
The story of the rich young man who refused to follow Jesus is the saddest story in the Gospel. The man is an observant Jew who has kept the commandments since his childhood. In Old Testament teaching the one who obeys God’s law will live (Deut. 30:15-16). Yet the man seems anxious and dissatisfied sensing that there is something more needed to inherit eternal life. Looking on him with love, Jesus puts his finger on the source of the man’s dissatisfaction. Despite his fidelity to the law, he lacks the one thing necessary. He needs a free heart. In order to set him free to follow the true longing of his heart Jesus tells him to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. After this he will be free to follow Jesus. For the young man the price was too high. He was too attached to the security and privilege which his wealth gave him. So he walked away sadly. He is unable to see that following Jesus is the true treasure, the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:44, 46). Nowhere else in the Gospels do we read that the call of Jesus to follow him was refused. Only the unconditional giving of ourselves to God can satisfy our hearts desire. It is only when we are empty of self that God can fill us.
Lord Jesus you who asked the rich young man to sell all and give to the poor; teach us effective ways to feed the hungry and to house the homeless of our world. Amen