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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

21 August 2023

Mt 19:16-22 ... “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.” ...

Mt 19:16-22


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.


Sometimes a man faces a dilemma: to lose something of his, in which he had placed his hopes, or to choose what seems to be weaker and less comfortable in human terms, but which hides great good behind it. Everything seems simple and obvious until it comes to making a difficult decision, to take a side. The young man from today's Gospel did not have an easy decision to make, although he stood before the Son of God himself. At the moment when Jesus asks man for more, to cut himself off from something, to renounce something, the temptation comes that urges man to stay with what he has, what he achieved. Why are we unable to give something to Jesus, something we care about? For a simple reason: because we are attached to something, our heart has been glued to these things and now we do not want to unstick it. It's easy for us to talk about God's love, faith, trust in God, when we don't have to sacrifice anything, nothing in the sense of what we really care about, what we hold tightly in our hands and don't want to let go at any price. Each of us has such a thing and knows that it is so valuable that it may even be more valuable than a relationship with the Lord God. Maybe it's not necessarily money, it can be, for example, a Facebook account, without which I can't imagine my life, because without likes, comments (only positive ones, there can be nothing negative), I can't function normally. Maybe it's a relationship with another person who has replaced God himself in my life, without whom I can't imagine my life, without talking to him I can't be happy. While this shouldn't be the case, there is always something in our lives that can compete with even God Himself, something or someone for whom we can even give up our relationship with Jesus, or at least hesitate deeply when something has to be sacrificed. The young man from today's Gospel couldn't make it, he didn't pass this exam. He probably thought that what he wanted in his heart, means to follow Jesus, could be married with his rich life, with the way of thinking he represented. Unfortunately, for Jesus, there was no such option, because He does not put Himself on an equal level with money, work, material goods that a man has and for which he works in this world. You can possess many things in this life, but you must not allow them to possess your heart, which belongs to God. If it happens that someone or something else covers up the image of God in me and takes away the love I owe Him, then God can claim His own and order me to give up this thing or relationship so that I don't forget that there is something much more perfect than what I put my hopes and trust in. Although we always associate the encounter with Jesus with joy and peace, in the case of today's Gospel it ended in sadness and frustration. This was not because Jesus was mean to this young man, but because He showed him where his faith and his heart really were, and these, although outwardly they were with God, were deep down in him glued to many possessions which he owned. Though he had many, he unfortunately lacked a relationship with Christ, the most important spiritual possession in which his heart should abide.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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