The title of today’s reflection is personal, yet I think appropriate for my first writing in the Year of Faith. How often do I forget about Christ in my daily decisions, in my doing. The answer is quite a bit. I also purposely push Him aside in order to “get along”. I am like Peter. Peter, at least, overcame his cowardice. I pray that this Year will help with that as well.
What is this faith that I am celebrating and re-learning? It is an historic event. God, the God of Abraham and Isaac, gave us His only Son to lead us to Him. This is how I interpret the basics: God is saying to us in this event: There is a God and I am among you! You are Mine, My children. And, in coming to you I exposed you to yourself if you can see. You are ignorant in all your worldly knowledge. You are violent and coarse. Yet, He says, I love you anyway and you can be better. You can approach, you can know love, you can be loving – Follow My Son.
Today’s Gospel reading (here) challenges us – what do we have to do to follow? The young man claims to already follow the commandments. Jesus, gazing on the young man, knows this. So, following the commandments is an important step. There had to be steps before that – knowledge of God and knowledge of His commandments. There also had to be the leap of faith that goes with that knowledge, the leap that this is the right path, the right thing to do. There had to be trust in God, an abandonment to Him. Why would the young man or myself make that leap? Because God’s actions are present in the past and in the present. Look around, they are there.
The young man is different than I am. He has disciplined himself to follow the commandments. This I have not done. I intend to follow them but find myself failing to meet the goal. I fall short. But I have faith that the Lord forgives. Perhaps I also put too much faith in this, I presume too much. I am a sinner who needs to repent a bit more to move forward in my relationship with the Lord.
The young man is like me in that I have many possessions. They possess me too often. I cannot leave them behind. I know the sadness, perhaps even despair of the young man’s inability to overcome himself. But the Lord looked lovingly at the young man.
Jesus is looking lovingly at me, at us all. What must I do to follow Him more? When he looks at me where does he tell me to start? Perhaps it is as simple as – Remember Me and abandon yourself to Me.
Readings 1 and 2 are important today. I paste them here from the USCCB’s page linked above. The first gives advice to follow, the second is a reminder of why to follow it.
Wisdom 7: 7-11
I prayed, and prudence was given me;
I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,
and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
and I chose to have her rather than the light,
because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
and countless riches at her hands
Hebrews 4: 12-13
Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.