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Providence Spirituality

The Gospel According to Mark 10: 17-30
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’” He said to Jesus, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the man heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For humans it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father of children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age – houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields – but with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life”.

Sunday October 14, 2018.

The Gospel According to Mark 10: 17-30


Contrary to what we may believe, this passage is not a lesson about the vow of poverty, but about something that affects the salvation of all. Jesus offers us another path: the path of truth, which certainly involves giving up our wealth, pride and arrogance. It is a call to do things differently, with wisdom. It is not a call to a life of absolute poverty, materially speaking, but to a poverty that does not rest on the simple security of formal compliance with the law, rather on the quest for God’s Reign.

Owning riches, loving them and looking for them is a way of life that defines an attitude that is contrary to the pursuit of God’s Reign and eternal life: it is power, safety, pleasure… None of these is happiness. However, to think that following Jesus’ footsteps is a miserable option would be a wrong way of understanding what the Gospel offers to us. This young man was not only materially well-off; he was also morally rich because he fulfilled the commandments. Is this immoral? No! But this moral wealth does not allow him to see that his riches are stealing true wisdom and his heart from him. He does not have the wisdom he is looking for, because he probably depends heavily on his “riches.”  Thus, walking after Jesus will teach him another way of understanding life, wealth and even religion.

Furthermore, Jesus adds that it is very difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because they are not able to deprogram themselves from their personal security, from their conception of God and men. Their material wealth is not only what makes it difficult for them to enter the Kingdom; their world of power and security isolates them from the little ones and their world, which is the real world that Jesus tells us about. “What is impossible for a man is possible for God” (v. 27) Jesus’ answer is a very special invitation for us to follow him radically.

Have a good week everyone!

A Sister of Providence