Following Christ’s teaching in Mark about the necessity of being dependent on God like a little child (Mark 10:13-16), Jesus encounters the opposite:  The Rich Young Man.  Eager, the Young Man runs and shows respect to Jesus by kneeling. The Young Man claims to understand and practice the the law (10 Commandments), but he zealously believes he must do something more to gain eternal life.

The Young Man lacks a reliance on God and Jesus immediately points to God, saying “No one is good but God alone.” Ironically, the Young Man is speaking directly to God but does not know it. To test the Young Man, Jesus mentions parts of the 10 Commandments that focus only on neighbor (and not God). The Young Man claims to have kept these commandments but fails to mention God.

Jesus gazes at the Young Man with the love of God, but the Young Man fails to realize it.  Jesus then says the “one thing” that the Young Man must do is to give away all his possessions and to “follow Me“, an invitation to give himself completely to God. Again failing to see that Eternal Life is standing right in from of him, the Young Man refuses God’s invitation and leaves in sadness.

Jesus does not denounce wealth, but warns that it is nearly impossible for the wealthy to enter Heaven; like the Young Man, they become blinded by their possessions and cling to the comfort of wealth rather than relying exclusively on God.  The disciples are astonished for several reasons: the stark realization that many will not get to Heaven; that they too have still relied on wealth; they have not yet come to the point of absolute dependence on God. Christ tells them their only hope is to rely completely on God’s Mercy.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Jesus, Divine Mercy, looks at the Young Man with love.  Jesus, Divine Prophet, has profound insight into the Young Man’s heart, immediately seeing that he is failing to seek God.  Jesus, Divine Teacher, teaches with mysterious irony, blunt statements and memorable metaphors that still intrigue and draw men to Christ’s message.  Jesus, Divine Judge, reveals that many will not get to Heaven, but that in the Divine Power of God “all things are possible.”

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Often men are passive in the faith, thinking that refraining from “grave” sin is sufficient.  It is not; not doing bad things is not the same as doing good things. Christ calls men to the perfection of love by giving one’s self fully to God and neighbor.  How can you actively seek God and serve neighbor today?

2) The path to Heaven is found by an absolute commitment to “follow” Christ.  Pray for a greater commitment to follow Christ and choose several ways to take action on your Christ commitment.

3) Many Catholic men spend indulgently themselves while being miserly to the poor and the Church.  Christ challenges the Young Man to give away everything; what is Christ challenging you to do? Resolve and take steps to give more to the poor and the Church.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude