Dear Lord, I believe in you because you know what is best for meand what I must do in order to reach heaven. I hope in you because you have calledme to detach myself from worldly things in order to possess you. I love youbecause you are greater than any of the things you have created.
Lord, grant me spiritual detachment from material things.
1. Are You Sure?
Sometimes we ask for ordesire something without really considering the conditions necessary to obtainit. We understand that most things cannot be obtained for free; nevertheless,in the spiritual life we easily forget this. What the rich young man asks foris the most valuable, the greatest possible achievement, but he thinks gettingit will be easy. Maybe he was accustomed to being able to buy whatever hewanted with money. He probably didn’t even think that Christ might tell him todetach himself from his possessions. The fact that we could want something, butnot want to do what is necessary to attain it, should raise a question: Do wereally want it?
2. A First Step toEternity:
Christ takes the youngman’s question seriously. He doesn’t want to waste the young man’s time allowinghim to think things are easier than they really are. Sadly, in today’s societypeople are used to seeking what requires the least effort. This is not the wayof a true Christian. To get to heaven – and everybody should really want to –one thing is totally necessary: “Keep the commandments.” That means to avoidsin. God’s love for us precedes the commandments. When we love someone, we donot treat that person in any old way, but rather in a way that reflects thelove we have for that person. So, we keep the commandments not just to follow amoral code, but to show in a specific way our love for God. This step is veryimportant, but it is only a first step to heaven.
3. Not So Sure:
The rich young man had no trouble withliving the commandments. Feeling confident, he asks for more, and Christ askshim to leave his possessions. He wasn’t expecting this. He went away sad,because he had many possessions. The problem is not having possessions, butthat having many possessions makes us more preoccupied with material thingsthan with “things of above,” as St. Paul would say (see Colossians 3:1). In theGospel, Jesus says, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also”(Matthew 6:21).
Conversation with Christ:
Dear Lord, help me to love you above allthings. I realize that I am attached to things that sometimes lead me to forgetyou. And yet, I can’t avoid hearing in the depths of my soul your words: “Youcannot serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). Help me understand that it is notworthwhile to have many things, but not have you.
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