Mark 10:17-30 or 10:17-27
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus, looking at him, loved him.
Jesus didn’t love him because he was good or because he knelt before him, or because he had been obedient from childhood, or because he was rich.
Jesus just loved him. He loved him with an agape, unconditional, love.
Jesus looks at us and just loves us.
Running up to Jesus, we fall to our knees and ask the eternal question. Jesus answers by revealing our attitudes, exposing our priorities, digging beneath layers that separate us from true discipleship – public piety, moral accomplishments, and political correctness.
He tells us the truth about ourselves, about what we lack and about the possessions that posses us.
Jesus then invites us to follow him, to join him on the journey, to enter the Kingdom of God like a child, trusting, obedient and grateful to God. If we follow, Jesus promises us the gift of eternal life.
Do we believe the promise? Will we follow him?
Or will we walk away in sorrow – dragging our pathetic possessions behind?
Deacon Manuel Valencia is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.