Working for the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrasesman ran up, what must I do, all these things I have observed, loved him, sell what you have, follow me, went away sad

To the point: The man in the gospel “ran up” to Jesus, eager to know how “to inherit eternal life.” How quickly his demeanor changed when Jesus, looking on him with love for having kept the commandments, challenged him to one thing further: he must give up everything and follow Jesus “to enter the kingdom of God.” Following Jesus demands that we choose not to be possessed by things, but by Jesus himself. To be possessed by Jesus we must even give up our greatest possession of all: our very selves. Then Jesus looks upon us with great love.

Connecting the Gospel …

… to the First Reading: The author of Wisdom was able to recognize that wisdom is greater than possessions. In the gospel Jesus teaches us that following him is greater than possessions. Such is the way of wisdom.

… to experience: Often, this passage (especially about receiving a hundredfold) is applied to those who answer the call to ordained priesthood or religious life but, in reality, this gospel passage refers to all who respond to Jesus' invitation to follow him.

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson