May the Peace of Christ Reign in our hearts
You know sometimes, when I feel God’s loving call and I know there could be a major change coming my way,
On one hand my heart usually begins to beat quickly about the next adventure,
but on the other hand I fear what I will have to leave behind and I dread what the cost of discipleship might be.
There’s always an internal battle a struggle in my heart and in all of our hearts when God calls in big things and little things.
The rich young man had everything he needed.
And yet he was fascinated by the words and the life of a poor itinerant preacher.
He was drawn to Jesus and he just couldn’t stay away.
The rich young man must have followed Him at a distance for a long time and finally when he mustered up the courage to do so he ran up to Jesus and knelt down before him, in a sign of submission, and asked Jesus what he needed to do to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Now remember this young man was not a bad person.
He was attracted to what was good and holy
He had kept the commandments…probably better than you or I
This young man had lived a good life.
So Jesus looked at him with love and said you only lack one thing sell what you have and give to the poor and come and follow me.
Sadly, tragically, all of a sudden the young man’s excitement was gone and the cost of discipleship was real and frightening and he walked away sad.
You see Jesus challenge showed him that he trusted his wealth, and his comfort, more than he trusted Our Lord.
This gospel has certainly my story on occasion and it has probably been the story of each and everyone of us in this Church.
At some moment or many moments in our lives Jesus has called us and we walked away sad.
All of us are a little like the rich young man.
In all of our lives there is an internal struggle between following God’s will, and holding onto what we think gives us comfort,
It’s so hard to let go of what we really trust and what we think makes us feel safe.
All of us here want to be holy, and all of us believe in Jesus and want to follow him otherwise we wouldn’t be here.
But… for most of us it just hard so hard to give up that one last thing we hold on to and embrace our Lord.
We don’t really know how the story ends..
We know that the rich young man walked away sad.
But we don't’ know if he ever came back
Maybe in the end he was able to let go of his wealth and put his trust in God
Maybe in the end faith and hope won.
God never gives up on us and is always looking for away into our heart.
LIke all of us the rich young man had until his very last breath to utter his yes to God’s call.
Remember Jesus looked at him with love, knowing full well what was going to happen but loved him just the same.
Jesus also loves us even when we just can’t place all of our hope and trust in him.
So good people all of us have to ask ourselves
What is holding us back
or maybe better yet
what owns us, in what do we place our hope and our trust?
For the young man it was his comfortable life and wealth.
For some it might be just the same, for others it might be the seeds of bitterness and anger we just won't’ give up
For others it might be lust or gluttony or sloth or anyone of the seven deadly sins.
For many of us that one last thing is our pride and the desire or need to be the best and make sure everyone else knows it.
If we are honest with ourselves and we live thoughtful lives,
we all know that Jesus has had that very same conversation with each and everyone of us.
In some way all of us are like the rich young man.
This gospel challenges us to realize the cost of discipleship and to pay it freely and generously
It challenges us to to place our hope in Jesus Christ to trust him and give our lives to Him.
What holds us back
What keeps us from saying yes to our Lord
The answer to that question is very important.
For Jesus has said …. To each and every one of us Come follow me
Sorry for any and all of my grammar mistakes these are my unedited homily notes...
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