Daily Reflection – May 23, 2016
Monday 23 May 2016
1 Peter 1:3-9
The Lord will remember his covenant for ever
Psalm 110(111):1-2, 5-6, 9-10
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:17-27
Today’s Note: Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
A man ran up and knelt down before him. (Mark 10:17)
Kneeling before another person is a very meaningful gesture. As a sign of respect, Catholics kneel before the Tabernacle. Knights and peasants kneel before the king to show him honour. Losing parties on the battlefield kneel before the victors as a sign of submission. A man kneels in humility when he is proposing marriage to the woman he loves. Even football receivers kneel to their opponent to concede disputed territory rather than get tackled.
The rich man knelt before Jesus, fully intending to embrace his instructions. But it took just one brief discussion for Jesus to get to the heart of the matter. The rich man was not yet willing to walk away from his many possessions and follow Jesus. For all his respect for the “Good teacher,” he did not yet see Jesus as someone worth giving up everything for (Mark 10:17).
In contrast, the first reading shows us Peter who, though imperfect, understood how worthy Jesus is. This is the same man who knelt before Jesus at the start of their friendship, then walked away from a miraculous – and lucrative – catch of fish to follow him (Luke 5:8-11).
Of course, Peter’s faith had ups and downs. Many were the times when he bumbled his way through challenging or confusing situations. But Jesus saw the love in Peter’s heart. Similarly, when we kneel before the Lord, we know there will be times when we will stumble. But we also know that this should not keep us from trying our best to submit to him.
The rich man was looking for a guarantee of salvation based on his accomplishments. But Jesus was looking for the kind of submission that is based on trusting in him and the power of his grace to keep us safe. He was looking for a submission similar to Peter’s: “Lord, I am just a sinful man; I don’t know that I could ever measure up, but I want to try.”
“Jesus, I want to follow you with all my heart. nothing compares to your love, your mercy, and your goodness. Please come and make up what is lacking in my efforts. Lord, I trust in You!”