The Heart of the Rich Young Man

Mark 10: 17-30

I just spent the last four days with the Seniors at Goretti on their Kairos retreat.  They are posed with a question at the end of the retreat that I believe is what the rich young man is left with as well as ourselves.  They are asked, not “can I live this out” but rather, “Do I want to live it out?”  After a retreat experience like Kairos, they are on a high after experiencing the unconditional love of others, forgiveness, healed relationships, and all else that comes with retreats, and so the question is an important one.  Do I want to live it out each day? 

You see, the rich young man did everything right.  He has followed all the commandments and he thinks it’s smooth sailing from there; but not with Jesus.  Jesus is asking of more from him.  Any of us call will ourselves to do things we don’t want always to do, but we can’t force our hearts to do something.  Jesus is calling out the heart of the rich young man.  He can do it all, willfully, but his heart is in a different place.  It’s the only place in the gospel where someone rejects the invitation; too much is asked, despite the love that Jesus showed him.

We know it’s not always about wealth but it is for this guy.  Just think about anything that makes you feel safe and secure.  Maybe it is wealth, maybe material possessions, but it can also be our thoughts, our pride, and so much more…now Jesus is telling us to give it up and follow him.  Where is our heart?

The question posed to the seniors is the same for the rich young man but also for us gathered here today.  Can I live it out…yeah, probably, even if I’m not happy I at least feel safe and secure.  The better question for us is, Do we want to live it out?  That’s the question of the heart that we must all answer for ourselves.

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