All things are possible for God


In today’s gospel, Mark 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.”

In this you rejoice, although now for a little while

you may have to suffer through various trials,

so that the genuineness of your faith,

more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,

may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor

at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

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.”

Jesus tells his disciples, after his conversation with the young man, the last line of the reading “For men it is impossible” to reach heaven, “but not for God.  All things are possible for God.

Jesus is telling the young man, and us, that we need to rely on God’s grace to go to heaven.  Whatever we do here on earth is not good enough, even if we give away everything that we own.  Wealth, power, merit, all these generate a sense of false security (see our current and most of our modern presidents and congress, and the CEO’s of major corps), but Jesus rejected all of that.

Some try to explain this gospel: that there was a narrow gate in the wall of Jerusalem called Eye of the Needle, and that camels could not pass through.  I think Jesus was speaking literally here, and the Church does, too. Achievement of salvation is beyond human capability and depends solely on the goodness of God who offers it as a gift.

St. Peter, in the first reading today concurs:

In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Suffer your trials gladly, with a smile.  When the old lady in the grocery bumps you with her cart, just smile and offer it up.  Pray for the guy driving crazy down the highway, cutting off people as he goes.  Your prayer may save his eternal soul.  Just accept your daily trials with honor and dignity.  You’ll receive your reward.

Advertisements

What say you???

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s