Saturday, October 20, 2018

Good Teacher

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Mark tells us that a man runs up to Jesus and kneels before him, asking him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Although Saint Mark does not reveal his age, Saint Matthew says that he is a "young man." We might call him a Millennial, a person today in their 20s or early 30s.

Jesus lays out the commandments for him, ranging from "You shall not murder" through "Honor your father and mother." And the young man says, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth."

Clearly, this young man has a set of values, and is trying to craft a life of quality and authenticity.

Jesus looks at him, loves him, and says, "You lack one thing: go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

The young man is shocked and goes away grieving, because he has many possessions. He is unwilling to abandon his luxury lifestyle. We can assume that he had a lot of money.

Mark tells us that Jesus loves this young man -- yes, Jesus loves his adherence to the commandments, his values and his desire for quality. But Jesus sees one thing getting in the way of a life of integrity: the man's materialism. "Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor," says Jesus. Jesus knows that if his earthly treasure is replaced with heavenly treasure, this young man will be ready to be a disciple.