Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection May 27, 2024


Published on:

R/. The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Though Jesus Christ was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: As Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honour your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

In the gospel of today, we have a rich young man who can represent many of us. First of all, we can appreciate his desire for eternal life, as he asks Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He asks this in humility as he kneels before Jesus.

He also readily acknowledges Jesus as the right teacher who can teach and direct rightly as he addresses Jesus, “Good teacher!” We must further appreciate him for his fidelity to observe the commandments from his youth.

Immediately, in reference to him, it is good to do a self-check. How many have this desire for eternal life? Many desire to acquire and gain many things pertaining to the world, but very little is the desire for what is beyond and lasting.

Do we have the humility to seek the answer for eternity? Do we have trust and faith in Jesus as the one who can give the right answer and direct us in the right way? And how many sincerely can affirm that I am following the commandments from my youth?

Certainly, this rich young man is not a bad man. He is religious-minded. That is why, Jesus looks upon him with love. However, the young man is still insufficient. He lacks something essential. He lacks that profound detachment, that radical self-giving, and personal intimacy with the Lord and following him.

He needs to get rid of a worldly mentality of acquiring, inheriting and possessing. This is indicated in his question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Eternal life is not something that can be gained by one’s own effort or merit. It is not an automatic result and reward of certain observances, even though good.

Eternal life and salvation is God’s grace, it is His free gift. Attachment to worldly things and possessions can be the biggest hindrance to following the Lord personally and intimately. They can easily make one self-centred and greedy. They may make one fail in sensitivity and generosity to the poor and needy.

Some may argue that Jesus is not realistic and practical. He does not know how to tackle the young man. He upsets the rich young man totally. He would have advised him to be more generous and contribute huge donations and alms to the poor and the temple, etc.

But, the real issue here is a radical commitment to the Lord. As Peter in his letter speaks of the genuineness of faith that is tested by trials and is more precious than all the other precious things like gold. and compromises. It is a total self-giving to God and to others. All that matters is only surrender and loyalty to the Lord.

Catholic Leaf is website that provides Sundays and Weekdays catholic reflections. Please use catholic leaf as a tool for preparing your Homily.