What is the one thing — one thing and one thing only — that you cherish more than anything else?
How much would you sacrifice to keep it?
How much would you endure to defend it? To fight to keep it?
Ever think about things like that?
What is the one thing that you do that causes you the most angst? What is the one thing that pushes you off course… makes you angry… tempts you… creates bitterness…
… prevents you from being more than you are now?
“You are lacking in one thing.” – a portion of Mark 10:21
Jesus counsels a rich man in the Gospel according to Mark (Mark 10:17-27).
“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.” – Mark 10:19
The man is a righteous person. He seems to be leading a holy life. He follows the commandments.
He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” – Mark 10:20
… but there’s one thing that is keeping the rich man from a complete relationship with God.
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.” – Mark 10:21
Who throws obstacles in front of us? Who blocks our path? Who prevents us from following God’s commandments? Who doesn’t want us to enjoy a complete relationship with Christ?
You know the answer.
The devil manifests in many forms. There may be elements of truth in the lies. There may be elements of goodness in the lies.
But the devil cannot manifest the truth. He is always deceptive.
We cannot and do not know exactly why the rich man’s possessions were preventing him from enjoying a complete relationship with God. But there was something about this one thing that stood between him and inheriting eternal life.
What was it?
And what’s your one thing?
Maybe you are following and keeping all the commandments, like the rich man.
Maybe you are working for worthy causes.
Maybe you pray like a banshee for countless causes.
But maybe there’s one thing that stands between you and inheriting eternal life.
Do you know what it is?
I know my one thing.
I’m not going to tell you. It’s too embarrassing. But God knows. I talk to Him about it just about every day. And often several times a day.
It stands in my way.
I don’t presume to speak for God, but I suspect it stands in my way of inheriting eternal life, too.
I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it may not matter. If I have a contrite heart. If I beg for God’s mercy.
God is love. God is truth. God is mercy.
Jesus told St. Faustina that His grace was ours if only we would ask for it.
God knows our hearts. God knows that all of us sin. It’s in our nature.
That’s why he sent Jesus. To assume our nature. To die for the sake of all of us who cannot control ours.
I believe that we have an obligation to lead good Christian lives even if we confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
I don’t think it’s enough to say “I believe” and go on enjoying our possessions at the expense of neglecting those poor who have few or no possessions, who have few comforts or not enough to eat. Or enjoying our knowledge of God and Jesus and neglecting the poor in spirit, those who have no knowledge of God’s mercy, those who have never heard the Word or the truth.
What is your one thing and how does it keep you from having treasure in heaven?
Confess it. Pray for help controlling it or eliminating it or transforming it.
How do I know… or rather, how do I suspect I know… that we may still find a path to our treasure in heaven, even as we struggle with our one or two or three (or more) things?
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” – Mark 10:26-27
It’s okay to acknowledge our shortcomings. It’s okay to confess them. It’s okay to throw ourselves at the mercy of Jesus and His heavenly Father.
Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Monday, May 25, 2015
Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention, beginning Friday, April 17, 2015, is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.