Monday, August 20, 2018

Cost Of Entry

A young man approached Jesus and said, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?"  He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good?  There is only One who is good.  If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."  He asked him, "Which ones?"  And Jesus replied, "You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."

The young man said to him, "All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Today’s Gospel reading makes us all conclude that no one can follow Jesus.   His command is too difficult – impossible.    Give everything to the poor?!   Then again, perhaps all we have to do is be good by living according to his commandments, although that last one about loving our neighbors as ourselves is a bit of a high bar to jump. 

That young man gave up too easily.  He just walked away sad.  Teenagers of today would have done some bargaining, and Jesus might have compromised.   Nothing ventured; nothing gained.  Jesus must have been testing that lad to get a reaction.    He probably shook his head as the young man walked away.  Jesus tests us all the time.

Eternal life comes at a price, but we will never know the fee.   I’m guessing that broken commandments won’t bar those heavenly gates.  Being regretful and asking for forgiveness for what we’ve done should be the cost of entry.    Otherwise, we’d all be on outside looking in.

Deacon David Pierce

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