Aug 17 2020 Reflection
Monday 17 August 2020
First Reading: EZ 24:15-23
You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
DEUTERONOMY 32:18-19, 20, 21
Gospel Reading: MT 19:16-22
Today’s Note: Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.
If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor. . . . Then come, follow me. (Matthew 19:21)
Jesus invited many different people to “Come, follow me.” Some answered with excuses, while others answered by giving up homes and jobs. But it wasn’t just to the people of first-century Israel that Jesus extended this invitation. He’s inviting you too. Today.
Could Jesus be asking you to walk away from a deeply held dream or a successful career? Maybe. But more likely, he is asking you to make him a greater priority than these things so that you can serve and please him before taking care of your own desires. Maybe he’s expecting you to sell what you have and give to the poor. That too is possible. But more likely he wants you to be detached from the things you own so that you can care for other people’s needs first.
No matter what the specifics of Jesus’ call are, at its heart it’s a call to greater detachment. It’s a call to hold the various elements of your life loosely so that you can be more open to whatever path God has marked out for you.
How do we get to this kind of detachment? One good way is to understand that all we have is, ultimately, a gift from God. As we come to appreciate his generosity and kindness toward us, we will become more convinced that he will continue to take care of us in the future, no matter what lies ahead.
Today, ask the Spirit to open your eyes to some way God has helped you in the past. Write down what comes to mind. Then, if you feel yourself “going away sad” at some point in the day, reread what you wrote. Thank God for it. Tell him that while you cherish what he has done, you are also willing to give it up in exchange for more of his love and his grace. Tell him that you want to follow him no matter the cost.
Jesus promised that, like a good earthly father, your heavenly Father would never give you a stone when you ask for bread (Matthew 7:9). In the same way, he will never ask you to give something up if he didn’t have something even better in mind for you.
“Lord, thank you for all I have! Help me to trust more.”