The Gospel Today
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.d
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu)
The rich man in today’s Gospel felt very confident thinking that because he had obeyed God’s commandments, he would receive approval from Jesus. He thought that since he followed all what the law of Moses prescribed, he would be the most important or righteous person in the eyes of Jesus. The rich man was asking how he can inherit eternal life. And with great love, Jesus answered his query by asking more from him to sell everything he has, give it to the poor and follow Jesus. The man was greatly disappointed because he owned much possessions and he was not ready to give them up for the sake of the kingdom.
Eternal life involves not only receiving God’s reward in the end but also being in God’s grace in the present. Jesus explains to the rich man and also to us that attaining eternal life is not only about what we are preparing to do at the end but what are we presently right now.
It is important to Jesus that we act on what is proper and right not tomorrow or next week, but now. We should respond out rightly to the needs of others especially the poor. It will be useless to keep on planning the things that we are going to do in the future if at present we lack the initiative to extend a helping hand to those in great need.
It is like in the seminary formation and even in any human formation. One cannot say that he will be good when he becomes rich or he will change his way of life when he reaches fifty years of age. These are useless promises and dreams. I cannot tell myself that I will start being a good and responsible priest when I am in the parish already. I cannot promise to God that I will be a faithful servant of Him after my ordination if my way of life today does not correspond to what the formation is asking from me. The present is very important and should be given proper attention in order to attain happiness at the end.