Where are we going on our life’s journey is a question that each one of us has to ask. The rich man in the Gospel story was looking for an answer from Jesus, but essentially Jesus puts the question back to him. Why? Simply this – no one else can live our life for us.
Each of us has to ask: “Am I a committed Christ follower or a mediocre follower of Christ?” Many of us today, like the rich man have become mediocre followers of Jesus. That is, we do not stand out in the crowd, we try to blend in. No one could convict us as Christ followers.
The rich man was not a bad person, as we learned, he did everything right, but Jesus caught something in him that he was not aware of. It was his love of wealth and security. Jesus challenged him to let go of all of that and trust God. He could not do it, he was not ready to let go. Notice that Jesus did not chase after him. Jesus let him go.
The beauty of Jesus is that He does not force us to follow Him; He invites us to follow Him. The rich man in the story did not accept the invitation. Jesus invites each and every one of us to rise above our mediocrity and to become dynamic Christ followers. Let the Holy Spirt light a fire in all of us to do the work that Jesus wants us to do.
A great example is Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She could have stayed mediocre, but she listened to the Holy Spirit. She was already in one religious community working in India, but she felt that God was calling her to form a new community to work with the poorest of the poor in India. By being obedient to the Holy Spirit, she accomplished much. At first it was difficult; she met both opposition and acceptance. But she kept moving forward. She kept her vision on Jesus. One day an interviewer asked her how she could do what she did. She told him. “I simply took the first step.” Let us, like her, take the first step prompted by the Spirit. Let each of us arise from our mediocrity and live like committed Christ followers.
God bless, Fr. Ray