Reflection and Prayer for Proper 23 – Year B 19th Sunday after Trinity

Mark 10:17-31

What must I do?

This young man “has it all” but, like many of us, he feels an emptiness in his soul. He observes the laws of his faith conscientiously but something is missing. He believes that Jesus may be able to give him the answer. Meeting the loving understanding and compassion of Jesus he is shocked by the call to give away his wealth and go on the road with the Teacher. For now this is a step too far, a risk too great, a cost too high.

We may not be enslaved by great wealth but there may be other things that do enslave us and make it harder for us to enter fully into God’s Kingdom than it is to get a camel through a needle’s eye.

When we ask Jesus “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He will look at us with love and compassion and know what it is that holds us back. He will want to free us from whatever enslaves us and in the secret places of our hearts we know what that is.

It will probably seem impossible to us that we can be freed, it’s a step too far, a cost too high, but with God all things are possible. We don’t have to walk away grieving. We can let go of whatever’s weighing us down and find that, whatever the cost, it was more than worth it to come into this new, eternal life.

Lord Jesus, you looked with love and compassion on all who sought your guidance. Help us to let go of the things that hold us apart from you so that we are free to follow you faithfully into eternal life. Amen