Commitment

Matthew 19:16-22
Jgs 2:11-19/Ps 106

If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.
(Matthew 19:21)

We all have poverty in wisdom,
Power, talent, beauty or health;
But if it keeps us from God’s kingdom,
The greatest poverty is wealth.

The young man who came to Jesus and asked Him, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” wanted to justify himself, for he knew that he had kept all the commandments. In all likelihood, he was hoping that Jesus would give him some kind of commission befitting his stature, or the honor of being their group’s official benefactor. He never expected that Jesus’ reply would be: “Go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” The young man went away sad, for although he could spare to give a part of his great possessions, he could not bring himself to part with all of it for Jesus’ sake.

Reflection

In our quest to bring the Good News of salvation to the marketplace, many of us have experienced the same kind of disappointment that our Lord must have felt in the case of the rich young man who had at first shown interest in the life eternal, but had walked away when he learned the stakes involved. In our Brotherhood’s annual Christian Life Program, for instance, how many of the 30 or so participants who join this 9-week immersion program stay on and become fully committed members of our community? Not even one in five, unfortunately. Or in the case of a brother whom you have painstakingly been ‘feeding’ the Word of God, and leading him to Christ, only to find out later that he had not given up his bad habits. Why is this?

Discipleship is all about total commitment. And one can only be totally committed to follow Jesus if he can serve only one Master (Mt. 6:24). As our Lord Jesus said in Luke 14:33, “Everyone who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be My disciple.” All Christians want to be assured of their passage to heaven, but how many are willing to pay the ultimate price? Of course it is only from His ministers (priests and bishops) that Jesus requires total renunciation of material things — that is why they take the vow of poverty — but all Christians who want to gain eternal life must also be “broken and shared” in imitation of the Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t have to sell all our properties to help alleviate poverty in order to be assured of a place in Paradise, but we must at least show God that serving Him through kindness and compassion to the poor is more important than the preservation of our wealth.

Grant us, loving Father, to become fully committed to follow Your will, as our Lord Jesus had done when He sacrificed His life to complete Your Divine Plan for our salvation. Thank You, precious Jesus for teaching us how in Your Holy Gospel. Amen.

3 Responses to “Commitment”

  1. Amadeo  on August 20th, 2007

    Hello, Mong:

    Got referred to your blog by your son, Blogie.

    If indeed, you’re an ADDU alumnus, we may have a mutual friend in Fr. Renato Puentevella.

    Regards.

  2. Momong  on August 20th, 2007

    Hello, Amadeo,

    Thanks for visiting my site. Hope you can also tell others about it. Really appreciate it. God bless.

    I graduated from highschool of Ateneo de Davao in 1965. Maybe just my senior moment, but I can’t recall Fr. Puentebella.

  3. Amadeo  on August 21st, 2007

    Hi, Mong:

    Fr. Puente says that he officiated in the wedding of Nene Robillo to Rey de la Paz in 1975.

    He is still in Davao and a hip injury has prevented him from teaching.