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Sometimes, it is good to take time out and ask ourselves, “How are we doing?” “How am I doing?” As a Christian, am I making wise choices that help me in my commitment to follow Christ? Or, am I a Christian in name only? How much does my faith in Christ influence my daily life? Well, perhaps reflecting on today’s readings can help answer these questions.
From the book of Wisdom, we are urged to pray for just that, wisdom. But, what is wisdom? The dictionary tells us that wisdom is the ability to discern what is true or right and to make sound judgments based on that discernment. We all know people whom we would consider wise. They may not be the most learned but they are able to live their lives in harmony with their values. Wisdom is a gift from God, more precious than any form of material wealth. With the Church today we pray for this gift, for it is wisdom that guides us on the right path to following Christ.
In today’s gospel Jesus meets a seeker, a man who desires to know how to live in order to “inherit eternal life.” Jesus’s answer is basic: keep the commandments. But, when declares that he has done so from his youth, Jesus then invites him into a deeper relationship. The man is to be a follower of Christ, letting go of worldly possessions and material goods while desiring only the treasure that heaven can give. The young man, however, is not ready to make such a commitment. Then we read some of the gospel’s hardest words, “He went away sad, for he had many possessions.” The young man’s wealth kept him from the joy and fulfillment he could have experienced as one of Jesus’ closest friends.
As we hear the words of Christ in today’s gospel, let us return to our opening question: “How are we doing?” “Am I making choices that help me in my commitment to follow Christ?” The words of Jesus challenge us. Security in possessions and money can pull us away from our dependence and trust in God, who is the true source of life here and hereafter.
If we can say honestly that we have given real attention to our call to follow Christ, the one who gave his life for all, we are blessed.