TWENTY EIGHTH SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B.
14th October 2018.
Wisdom 7:7-11; Hebrews 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30.
Today in the readings, Jesus Christ exposed the greatest obstacle to eternal life. The common understanding is that faithfulness to the laws and dictates earn one eternal life. Jesus Christ debunks this understanding when he told his disciples that, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Grace is inevitable if we are to be in the path to eternal life. Only God can guarantee this.
The rich young man was a very good man by human reckoning but he failed the test when he approached Jesus Christ. According to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ This answer revealed the pride in him. To have kept the laws is enough to instill a good sense of humility in him. He met his disappointment when jesus exposed his pride by asking him, ‘Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ Discipleship abhors pride.
Pride, exposed in the encounter with the rich young man, is an example of the obstacles that prevent us from gain eternal life. They come in the form of comfort zones. Those personal areas in our lives that we insulate from the word of God. We know they are counterproductive to our endeavors to eternal life, but we insist on them. The second reading informs us that the word of God is capable of exposing them to our consideration. ‘… it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.
Pulling out of these comfort zones is the only option open to us. The first reading reminds us that the word of God offers better possibilities beyond the limited joys of these comfort zones. In her [wisdom] company all good things came to me, at her hands riches not to be numbered. Our greatest challenge is that we lack the faith to lift us beyond the passing phase of comfort zones. We invest a lot of time and energy to keep it alive to serve our ego. But it takes the support of faith to gaze upon the joy of true discipleship.
Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.