Liberate me, Lord, from myself, that is, from my own enslaving desires. Give me that freedom which makes me more like you, who are divinely free and loving. #dailymeditation ... See MoreSee Less

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By Fr. Simione Volavola, MSC (St. John the Baptist Parish-Ottosville, PA)

Dear brothers and sisters,

“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
(Mark 10:21)

It is time to take a serious look at our life as a parish community of disciples of Jesus. Where are we on our journey with our Lord? Today’s readings from Sacred Scriptures are very timely. Let them inform our reflections.
Our journey with our Lord to the Cross has already begun. Since His first prediction of His passion, (Mark 8:31), He has begun to invite and bring people along with Him. His invitation is first to his disciples but must now be extended to all of humanity beginning last week with husbands and wives.
Today, He encounters a rich young man. The young man seeks eternal life. He echoes the longing of every human being. Even after having being blessed with great wealth and a life faithful to the commandments of God, He recognizes that life eternal, an enduring joy and peace still evades him.
Is this not the cry of every human being? Do we not, even in the prime of our lives, with all the familial, financial and social security to comfort us, and even after having faithfully strove to keep the commandments, our hearts yet yearn for the eternal?
This is where the young man has arrived in his own personal journey through life and it is here that he encounters our Lord. The moment of encounter is perfect. It is here that humanity hears the voice of the One whom God the Father on the mount of transfiguration had told us to listen to.
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
The young man is invited to step out of the comfortable life that he has created for himself with houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands and to follow the person of Jesus and the eternal life that He creates for us already now.
Wealth is not bad in itself but wealth outside of eternal life and the following of Him who will take us there is useless and indeed sad. Prosperity in and of itself is not but bad one can gain the whole world and still lose his own life because life needs Life in order to be eternal.
As parishioners of St. John the Baptist, and indeed as disciples of Jesus, you and I are invited to take the time to seek our Lord in prayer and to see where we are with Him. We are to take the time to look into His loving gaze, that which He gave to the rich young man.
We are to take the time to hear Him say to us the one thing we still lack: to courageously let go of the life we keep trying to create for ourselves and enter into the eternal life that He began to create for us when we were baptized into Him.
Do we believe that our parish is part of the new home that He has created for us? Do we believe that the women in our parish are the mothers, sisters and daughters that He promised us? Do we believe that the men of our parish are the fathers and brothers and sons that He has surrounded us with?
Do we believe that our parish is the community of disciples that He has summoned from all over the world to come to Him, listen to Him be taught by Him and to be led by Him to that eternal life that He so generously pours out from His side on the Cross?
Do we believe that we as a parish are faithfully coming to gather around Him from whom we receive the strength, the courage, the wisdom to undergo the persecutions and temptations and satanic movements that are trying to sway us and our children away from following Christ to life eternal?
Let us keep choosing Christ! Let us keep following HIm!
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