Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B

Posté par diaconos le 6 octobre 2021

Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B  dans Catéchèse

# Jesus and the rich young man is an episode of his public life reported in the three synoptic gospels. It is recounted in the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt, 19,16-30), in the Gospel according to Mark (Mk, 10,17-31) and in the Gospel according to Luke (Lk, 18,18-30). In Matthew, a rich young man asked Jesus how to obtain eternal life. Jesus reminded him of the Decalogue, and when the man replied that he had observed it since his youth, he said : « I will never forget it ».

Luke contains a similar episode and the following judgment : « How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God, Yes, it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. «  Mark then quotes Jesus’ words from this incident which, as in the other evangelists, draws a general law from it: « How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God ».

Camille Focant noted that these words in Mark plunge the disciples into fear and that it is not only the rich who are mentioned : « it is the difficulty itself of entering the Kingdom of Heaven that is underlined. It concerns everyone. What is meant by the possessions of which Mark spoke? It is wealth, all useful things. The more of these things one has, the less able one is to enter the Kingdom of God. »

Even for the person who has little, this is only possible thanks to God, since it can be said, according to the exegete, that following Jesus and the detachment that comes with it could become a possession. The scholar of Mark added that from 8:34-38, the attentive reader of Mark knows that man has nothing to offer in exchange for his life and that wanting to save it is the best way to lose it.

From the Gospel according to Mark

17 Jesus was on his way, when a man came along, fell on his knees, and asked him, « Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life ? « 18 Jesus said to him : « Why do you say that I am good ? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments : Thou shalt not commit murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not commit theft, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not hurt anyone, honour thy father and thy mother. »

20 The man answered : « Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth. » 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. He said to him : « Only one thing you lack: go, sell what you have and give it to the poor; then you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me. » 22 But when he heard this, he became sad and went away, because he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples : « How difficult it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God ! « .

24 The disciples were astonished at these words. Jesus spoke to them again : « My children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God ! 25 It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. » 26 The disciples, more and more perplexed, asked one another : « But then, who can be saved? « 27 Jesus looked at them and said : « To men this is impossible, but not to God; for all things are possible to God. »

28 Peter began to say to Jesus : « Behold, we have left everything to follow you. » 29 Jesus said : « Amen, I say to you, no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, and land 30 for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will receive a hundredfold even in this age: houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecution, and in the world to come, eternal life. » (Mk 10, 17-30)

SELL what you have, GIVE to the poor, then FOLLOW Me: 28th Sunday in  Ordinary Time [Year B]: Mark 10:17-30 | A CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE

The rich young man

While Jesus was on his way, a man rushed up and fell on his knees, calling him : « Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life » (Mk 10-17). Jesus began by refusing this title. Only God is good. Then he told his interlocutor the commandments of the second table of the Decalogue. The man said that he had kept them from his youth. Jesus looked at him with deep tenderness and told him to give what he had to the poor and to follow him. The man was distressed and went away sad.

Then Jesus looked at his disciples and said : « It will be difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. (Mk 10, 17) In response to the disciples’ amazement, he added that it was difficult for those who trusted in riches to enter the kingdom ; a camel would rather pass through the eye of a needle. His disciples were even more astonished and asked one another : « Who can be saved ? « . Jesus told them that this is impossible for men, but that everything is possible for God.

Peter was happy to see that they, the disciples, were leaving to follow Jesus. Jesus said that every sacrifice made for Him and for the Gospel is rewarded now and in eternity, but many of the first will be last and the last first. Matthew, Mark and Luke record these words after the blessing of the children. Jesus left the house where he had stopped and set out to continue his journey.

Jesus said to him : « Why do you call me good ? No one is good except one, God. (Mk 10, 18) Regarding the meaning of Jesus’ question, : « Why do you call me good ?  » and the distinction he made between himself and God, whom he declared to be the only good one, interpreters differ widely, depending on whether they are influenced by their dogmatic views. Those who denied the perfect holiness of Jesus saw in this word an admission of sin.

Jesus took the point of view of the one who questioned him and whose question proved that he had the most mistaken ideas about man’s goodness. Believing himself to be good, he had to qualify this Master for whom he showed a deep veneration, although for himself he was only a superior man, at best an envoy of God. Such is, with some differences, the explanation admitted in the Catholic Church, from Augustine to the Reformers and the modern exegetes, Bengel, Olshausen, Ebrard, Lange.

 Holiness is relative, and this was also the case with Jesus, since a progressive development was taking place in him, who still had to learn obedience through the things he would suffer, and thus achieve perfection. From this point of view, the idea of absolute goodness, excluding all development and progress, belongs to God alone.

The only good God, to whom Jesus referred his interlocutor, did not leave himself unwitnessed; he revealed himself, he expressed his holy will in the law : « You know the commandments ; why do you ask what you must do ?  If this man had not been content with knowing and misknowing ; if he had grasped this law in his spirituality, he would not have asked what he should do, but, humbled in the presence of these broken commandments, he would have implored God’s help to fulfil them. Jesus wanted to teach him this by referring to the law, whose meaning and spirit he revealed to him.

Some exegetes see it as an explanation of the eighth commandment ; others think it must have replaced the tenth, which forbids coveting other people’s property ; still others see it as a summary of all these precepts, intended to reveal their spirit. Meyer compared it to : « You shall not wrong the mercenary who is poor and needy. Possessing wealth is a locution that shows that the goods of this world are considered as a totality, as a power.

Jesus made them understand that it is not the mere possession of wealth that is an obstacle to salvation, but the disposition of the heart to put its trust in it. Jesus compounded the severity of his condemnation by using a proverbial image, which made difficulty an impossibility. Jesus appealed to the victorious influence of a love that prevails in the heart over all earthly affections and passions.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Augustijnians : klick here to read the paper →  Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

◊  Frather Antony Ekpunobi CM  : klick here to read the paper →  TWENTY EIGHTH SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

- Homily: Rich Young Man

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