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1Pt 1:3-9; Ps 111:1b-2.5-6.9 and 10; Mk 10:17-27


The popular saying goes that &quote; nothing ventured nothing gained & quote; In the field of business, one must invest before enjoying the dividends. Today Jesus tells the young man who approaches him with the bid of enjoying divine dividends to first go and sell what he has and give to the poor. This is a young man who has no problem of investing. Mark tells us that he is rich young man. There is no doubt that he has invested aggressively and has accrued a lot of profit. He has enjoyed a lot of worldly possessions, and now wants to inherit eternal life.

Another unique characteristic feature of this man is that he knows that observing the Decalogue is fundamental to good life and has been following them since childhood. Jesus proves to him that knowing the letter of the law is not synonymous to the Spirit of the law that warrants eternal life. So, he tells him: "You are lacking one thing. Go sell what you have..." Jesus makes him understand that to be filled with spiritual treasures, one must empty oneself of material possessions. By so doing he/she creates space for that purpose. In other words, true discipleship is obtained by self-emptying.

We must lose the perishable (worldly) self in order to gain the imperishable (eternal) self. The logic is simple; we cannot possess both simultaneously - one must give way to the other. Therefore, possessing one bars a person from possessing the other. At the end, the young man chooses worldly possessions over eternal possessions and thus forfeits eternal life. Jesus gives us similar command to go and sell our possessions - greed, fornication, adultery, discrimination, backbiting, malice, hatred, jealousy, bribery and corruption, envy, laziness, and the likes. Which of them are you rich in that you need to lose so as to gain eternal life?


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