Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 14, 2015 Cycle B
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.E.

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In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy” (Ps 90:14).

Today’s Gospel talks about a missed opportunity. The rich young man preferred to keep what he had instead of accepting Jesus’ invitation. He did not want to follow Jesus. Unlike the rich young man, Peter and the Apostles left everything to follow Christ.

Today’s Gospel shows us how important our decisions are to Our Lord.

The rich young man came to Jesus with an important question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He was asking Jesus the most important question that we can ask. He was asking Jesus about the definitive meaning of life. Jesus tells him to obey the Ten Commandments. The young man says that he was already doing that. He was a good boy! He was perfect! Jesus looked at the young man with affection and said that he was lacking in one thing: he had to leave everything and follow Him.

I presume that Peter was not as good a boy as the young man. Maybe he did not always obey all the commandments. He was a fisherman. He had to take care of his family. Every day, Peter had to fish in the sea and sell his catch. He had to manage a group of fishermen. He was not perfect. He was a normal human being, like us.

When Peter met Jesus, he immediately accepted Jesus’ invitation to follow him and abandoned his fishing nets. Peter did not make calculations. He was not attached to his possessions or self-satisfied. In Peter’s decision, we find a manifestation of the attitude expressed in the first reading: “I preferred her [wisdom] to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her” (Wis 7:8). Peter understood that true wealth is to follow Jesus.

The rich young man refused Jesus’ invitation. The Gospel says: “… his face fell, and he went away sad.” Sadness is the result of our refusal to follow Christ. The young man incorrectly calculated that Jesus was less than what he already had. He could have said to Jesus that he would have loved to follow Him but could not do so, that he lacked strength and needed Jesus’ help. However, he did not say that. He was proud and full of himself. He thought that he was intrinsically good. He thought that his virtue and perfect obedience to all the commandments were entirely the fruits of his own efforts. Spiritual pride is a terrible temptation.

Peter said to Jesus: “We have given up everything and followed you” (Mk 10:28). Jesus replied that everyone who has given up everything to follow him will receive a hundred times more now and eternal life in the future.

Peter preferred wisdom to possessions. He experienced the truth of the first reading: “Yet all good things together came to me in her [wisdom’s] company, and countless riches at her hands” (Wis 7:11).

The rich young man found sadness. Peter found joy.

“Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy.”

Let us ask Our Lady of the Rosary to intercede for us, that we may obtain the grace to choose what brings us joy. May she help us to always follow Christ.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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