2021-10-1028th Sunday of Ordinary TimeRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

Today`s Gospel story makes it clear that there is more to Christianity than just keeping the Ten Commandments.

The man in the Gospel said he had kept all of the commandments. Jesus admired him for this. Jesus said to the rich man, "Granted you have never hurt anyone, but what have you done to help anyone? Have you ever used your wealth to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or shelter the homeless?"

"If you want to follow me," said Jesus, "then transform your vision. Stop viewing goodness in a negative way - as not hurting anyone - and start viewing it in a positive way as helping people. Do this and you will find happiness in this life and in the next life as well."

The challenge Jesus held out to the rich man is this: "How badly do you want eternal life? Do you want it badly enough to sacrifice your possessions for it?"

The rich man answered, "Master, I want it - but not that much."

And so the rich man rejected the invitation of Jesus. The thought of using his wealth for anything other than himself and his family was too great a sacrifice.

In many ways we are like the rich man in today`s Gospel. We have kept the commandments but we have not yet been able to reach out as generously as we could to the needy, the naked, and the hungry.

Right after Jesus tells his disciples that "it is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," they cry, "Who, then, can be saved?"

Jesus replies, "It is impossible for human beings but not for God."

How to we enlist God`s help? The way to seek God`s help is not only to ask for it in prayer. We should do this, of course, but we should also do more. We should reach out to someone in need, even if it is only in some small way.

Today`s Gospel is an invitation for us to reach out not just to our neighbor but also to Jesus. It`s an invitation to trust Jesus when he says:

"I tell you that anyone who leaves home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for me and for the Gospel will receive much more in this present age. He will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands and in the age to come he will receive eternal life." Mark 10:29-30

If we reach out to someone in need, God will take us by the hand, and walk at our side for the entire journey.

"Lord teach us to be generous."

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