17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
This morning I took a cooler shower… it was still relatively warm… and I was thinking about how much I have. I don’t know about you guys, but this last week I have struggled. Colleen asked us in Guatemala to reflect on what makes us uncomfortable.
I could honestly say down there that I wasn’t very uncomfortable, but rather it has been in the silence of our return that I have felt uneasy and I have even tried to avoid the silence. This gospel from Mark challenged me today to stop running. How simple, yet difficult, is Jesus’ call: Let go of everything and follow me. I have been thinking about Sheila’s answer to this call. I am ready to give two weeks, several months, or even several years to work such as Sheila’s, but am I willing to give everything? Sheila has given her entire life to God’s work. If God asked me to leave everything behind today, I don’t think I could. I often give to God from my “surplus” in my life, but rarely do I give to him from my necessity. The Guatemalans gave to us from their necessity. They fed us when they had little food, they gave up their seats at church for us, the pastoral youth devoted their Saturday evening to be with us, Diago took several days to make us those pens. They all gave us their very best. Jesus Christ is truly living in them and it is because of this generosity in their poverty (Jesus’ poverty), that we have become spiritually rich. If we follow the Guatemalan’s example, we may be able to answer the call, “Come, follow me.”
All of you are in my prayers and thoughts! Happy Memorial Day!