In the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10, we hear the story of the rich young man. This young man thought he had heaven in his grasp, a slam dunk! He had been following the Ten Commandments. He had been giving appropriately to the poor. He was being kind. In essence, he was talking the talk and walking the walk in a manner he thought fit the expectation. He was thinking much like many of us do.
But then Jesus throws him a curve ball. He reminds us that Heaven is not a given. I like to imagine that Jesus scanned his soul, as only a divine human could do, and landed on that one trouble spot He knew the rich young man had. That sore spot. That chink in his armor.
Jesus told the rich young man to give away everything he had and follow Him.
This gives the rich young man pause as he had worked hard to acquire his wealth. To give it all away was too much of an ask. Ultimately, he couldn’t do it. He passes up a lifetime with Jesus because he couldn’t get rid of his worldly possessions.
I don’t know about you, but I often play with this in my head: would I be able to drop everything and follow Jesus? What would be the spot on my soul that Jesus would press upon?
Personally, in my head, I know that everything I have is a gift from God. It was never really mine to begin with. As a student of the Bible, I know that Jesus always came back “home,” so while the disciples had to drop everything and go, they were never fully disconnected.
As a friend of the Saints, I know that abandonment leads to great joy. Jesus doesn’t want us to suffer, but He does want us to connect completely to Him so all distractions have to go away. He wants us to trust Him. He’d never lead us into something He wouldn’t be there to help us with.
So when I wonder if I could just drop it all, I’d like to think I could. Could you? What is that thing that would trip you up?
Jill Fischer is the Principal of St. Dominic Catholic School