Monday, June 25, 2012

Matthew 19: 13-22

Today's Office gospel reading is from Matthew where the rich young man asks Jesus what is required for him to "attain eternal life". Jesus replies follow the commandments and "love your neighbor", to which the young man replies, "I have." Jesus says to him to then sell all he has and give the money to the poor and the man goes away very sad for he was very wealthy.

As I read this at Morning Prayer it struck me that the attainment of "eternal life" is the life then experienced as a life of respecting the life around me, as the commandments describe it and loving my neighbor. These are acts of giving, giving respect and giving love to my neighbor. Yet there is more. Jesus calls me to surrender all my wealth for the sake of his love, the love of eternal life. Jesus calls me to surrender what ever it is I value, whatever those things are which I would upon place a greater value than the love of my neighbor, the love of God. They could be monetary, they could be material possessions, they could be my time, talents or my sense of ego, all these things could be things which impede my capacity to more fully love and care for all of God's gifts in creation. I believe for me, today's gospel reading reminds me that the attainment of the eternal life is in the eternal giving away of those things I stubbornly persist in believing to be "mine" and to remember I truly own nothing, as All belong to God and to God alone. To share in the eternal life then could be to share in the practice of The Eternal One, to lovingly continue to strive to give all away, as love requires of me, especially those things I would persist in hoarding.

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