28th February 2022: 1 Peter 1:3-9; Psalm 110(111):1-2,5-6,9-10; Mark 10:17-27
Wealth may be taken to mean many things, but the wealth that causes most harm is the longing, or owning, of something that one can not keep. Either we can not attain it, or it is some trifle that we leave behind when we die, or it may even be something that can never exist. In this way we can see wealth as an addiction. We do not ned to feel angry about those with wealth - but we do need to let them know what Jesus said about it.
Having said that - now look at this poor young man in today's Gospel. We can to some extent or another all place ourselves in this man's shoes, as we all have this tendency to long for something that we can not keep. The structure of this episode recorded for us by St Mark is important:
- Jesus Looked Steadily at Him.. or in some translations, Jesus looked hard at him. We do need at times to take a long, hard look at ourselves...
- and He Loved Him . . despite all our faults, Jesus loves us, unconditionally. A wise confessor ones suggested for a penance that one should just spend a few minutes looking at a cross. Notice how Jesus uses his arms to indicate how much he loves you - this much!
- Jesus said - 'go and sell what you own' - a possessive verb - reminding us that possessions can often posses us - and make better use of your wealth.
- and then the invitation - to come and follow Him.
Readers of Laudato Si' will know that we in this country are all of us amongst the top few percent in terms of our global use of the world's limited resources. Make a note in your diary - come if you can, in person or on-line, to our Lent talks starting 17th March in St Thomas More Church at 19:00 when we explore the scriptural background to Laudato Si'. There are more details on the Parish website and in next week's bulletin.