A reflection on this Sunday’s Mass by Sr Kym Harris osb and downloaded from http://www.prayasyoucan.com.au
‘Jesus looked at him and loved him.’ Jesus was about to make an audacious request of the wealthy man and he knew that only in the gaze of love could the man respond to this invitation to totally transform his life. Till now he had devotedly kept the Law and avoided sin: no adultery, no stealing etc. and he would have understood his wealth as God’s reward to him for such behaviour. Now Jesus challenges the ground on which he walks. No longer is his virtue to be shown by avoiding sin but by serving the poor with the very wealth his perceives as a blessing and then following Jesus. Devotion to the Law is to be superseded by love of Jesus.
It is a big ask: the man had been in control of his life, he had wealth, prestige, the ability to be devout. Now he is asked to give it all away and follow the poor Jesus who we know is on his way to the cross. How could Jesus expect him to respond positively- only in the gaze of love.
We, too, will find ourselves in that gaze with an audacious request asked of us- not every day, perhaps only once or twice in a lifetime. But at some stage we will be asked to move beyond everything that holds our world and our self-identity together. We will be asked to do the impossible. How can we prepare for such a moment? By allowing ourselves to bask regularly in the love of Jesus.