Mark 10:17-30 NRSVue

17As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not defraud. Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “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.” 22When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

28Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

Some thoughts on this scripture

The man who had great wealth found sadness in his wealth. Somehow the Lord's invitation to give away and to share threatened him badly. Jesus knows the way possessions and wealth and comforts can tie us down. He knows that his compassion makes up for much human weakness. We offer to the Lord in prayer all we are and all we have, asking for help in using wisely what we possess, and live easily without what we might like to possess but cannot.  

We can take ourselves too seriously and function as if all depends on us, or go to the other extreme and feel we have little to contribute. We are called beyond those extremes to give attention to the gift of God and the quiet growth of the Kingdom from insignificant beginnings. Change comes slowly but it does bear fruit in due time. It carries a lesson in faith and humility. The environment and conditions are important. We are to cooperate with the gift of God.

Our role in life is to sow seeds and not to be preoccupied with producing a harvest. The seed given us is the word of God that serves to bring about a Kingdom of justice, love and peace. We have a contribution to make, small though it may seem. We have to begin somewhere, perhaps with a small initiative.