28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Like the young man in the Gospel, each of us meets Jesus. We meet him at the heart of the Church, in the scriptures and teaching of the Church, in our prayers, in the Sacraments and above all in the Holy mass where in the Blessed Eucharist Our Lord is truly present.
With the young man we already recognise that Jesus is the Good Master, that he is God. We know the commandments, do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery, and with the young man I think that most of us can say if not “I have” then at least “I have tried to keep these all my life” or maybe “with all my heart I want to keep these”.
But for each of us there is that further question, unspoken in St. Mark’s gospel but there in St. Luke and St Matthew, “What more must I do?” It is that feeling that there is or should be something more. “Yes I am trying to live a good life – be a good priest, husband or wife, parent, live a chaste life, be a faithful follower and witness of Christ – yet is there something more, something just out of reach, something just behind the curtain?”
That is love calling you. “Jesus looks at us and loves us”. Love wants all – it gives all and it wants all. For some this may be a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. If any single men or single women here today identify with that question “What more do I need to do” if you have that feeling that there is more then please realise that love may be calling you to give up everything and discover the fullness of love in the priesthood or the religious life. If that is so, do not be afraid – I can assure you in truth it is the most wonderful way there is.
Many though, in different ways will hear that call of love. Especially perhaps in prayer when you are talking to or listening to or just looking at Jesus. Indeed caution is necessary when you pray, approach the good Master with care, for we approach love itself, a burning fire which can set us alight. Many of us are asked in different ways to “sell everything” what the everything is depends on what we put before Love and the scriptures and the Church in which he reveals himself. It may mean literally get rid of all material possessions and become a religious, it may mean simply give up television, it may mean eat less it may mean pray more, it may mean a radical change in the way you live your life a reassessment of all you think important. Listen to your heart and conscience – for there love speaks too.
All these things are steps on the road to, in the end giving up even ourselves for love. Not alone of course, we give up ourselves with Jesus. But that giving up of self for love is another way of describing heaven. To have reached the stage where all we need to do, all we want to do, is give ourselves in love to the one who loves us and desire and receive nothing less that divine love in return. That will never happen whilst there are still some things we refuse to give up.
Maybe we go away sad because we have many things like that – but return, always return and ask love again. “What more must I do?”