In today’s Gospel we hear of the man who will go down in history as the Rich Young Man. Perhaps he wanted to make a name for himself, but in the end he anonymously provides an example down through the centuries of “don’t let this happen to you”: don’t leave anything off limits to God, because sooner or later it will come between you and him. In the spiritual life we can form unhealthy attachments to things–wealth, health, relationships, etc.–and we can lose sight of the fact that everything we have and are is a gift from God, and should be used to serve him and to serve others.
The Rich Young Man today was loved by Our Lord, and that was why Jesus told him he had to make a choice. He had put his possessions and what they could be put to use for off limits, and, like a jealous lover, Our Lord told him, “it’s me or them: pick.” The Rich Young Man made the wrong choice. Many of the first Christians were called by nicknames, and who knows if the Rich Young Man was called to be Saint Generous or Saint Magnanimous.
Let’s ask Our Lord to show us today whatever there is in our life that we may be putting off limits to God, or may come between us and him. What’s important is to make the resolution to change, and, as Jesus promises the disciples, with God all things are possible.
Readings: Sirach 17:20–24; Psalm 32:1–2, 5–7; Gospel Mark 10:17–27.