Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Gospel Reflection Mark 10:28-31

In today’s Gospel, St. Peter says to Jesus what every baptized Christian should say “We have given up everything and followed you.” This is a stark juxtaposition from the scene we read about yesterday where the rich man cannot bring himself to part with his many possessions to follow Jesus. 

Life in Christ, participating in the abundance of the life He gives now and in the age to come, necessarily implies a cost. Not just a one-time transaction, but daily installments. To receive, we must give. We must give of ourselves. The choice of whether we will bring the sacrifice of Cain or the sacrifice of Abel stands before us each morning. 

We must give. This might be best understood in the context of divine love, which is itself the infinite gift of being. To receive the love of God, we must give love away. The goodness and blessings God pours into our lives are meant to be shared. But we are hoarders! Trying to hoard the love of God is like hoarding possessions; the one hoarding ends up being possessed. The more we try to dam the flow of divine love in us, the more parched we become. 

From a spiritual standpoint, when things, relationships, or circumstances own us, they come to define us. In turn, they create a barrier between us and God. The more we put our effort, energy, time, and focus into these things, however good they are, the higher the wall becomes until we can no longer see the Lord. Finite, contingent, and passing things are not bad in the strict sense. It is good to love our families and communities, for example. But these things cannot be the highest good. Although we experience love within them and from them, they are not the source of love. Jesus calls us to Himself as the source. When we drink deeply from His well, we can enjoy the abundant goods downstream and simultaneously contribute to their goodness.

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