“…for God all things are possible.”
The rich young man had just left Jesus and the disciples and ‘went away sad, for he had many possessions’. Jesus, turns to the disciples and says ‘it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven… So hard, in fact he compares it to an ungraceful and clumsy camel trying to get through the eye of a needle – truly am impossible feat on many levels!
Now we come, as Paul Harvey would say, to the rest of the story! Jesus statement, unsettles the disciples – maybe even ‘rocks them to the core – well then ‘who can be saved?’ Don’t we have these same thoughts sometimes? In some ways, selfish thoughts – we all want good lives, better lives, we work hard, we have things – things that we like, things we want even – we too wonder who will be saved…
Jesus response is the rest of the story – you can’t do it by yourself – it’s impossible! – but for God all things are possible!” It is God who helps us open our hearts, our minds and our attitudes and begin to live in right relationship. Right relationship with God, with others and with self. It is God who helps us live in right relationship with the ‘things’ of our lives. What really does matter? Not the things, so much, as what we do with the things, do the ‘things’ make us better people? Do they help us open our hearts to others? Do we share the ‘things’ with God in our daily prayer and conversations with Him?
We don’t know what happened with the rich young man; impetuous Peter asks What about us? What about us? Are we willing to let God in? Are we willing to follow his lead? Are we willing to be last sometimes? Eternal life is possible – with God!
Faith Offman is the Associate Director of Ministry at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan.