I’m detecting a theme as we near the end of Ordinary Time and anticipate Lent. The reading from Mark tells of the man who approached Jesus begging to know what he can do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to adhere to the 10 Commandments. The man replies that he has. “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.’ At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”
Like Jesus, I too look at this man and love him because his heart was in the right place and I could personally identify with his plight. We all seek eternal life in heaven. He follows all the commandments and still feels like there is something more he must do. The man’s wealth was a hindrance. It was holding him back from truly seeking the Kingdom of Heaven, thus it was that he went away sad. It is less the wealth but rather the fact that there are roadblocks in our lives that keep us from seeking and bringing about the Kingdom of God.
As we ready ourselves to begin the Lenten journey, we should seek to set down those things that hinder us from embracing the Kingdom of God?