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This is something we ALL need to think about. Don't forget this. 

Jesus told the rich man how to gain the Kingdom, but is the price too high for you and me?

Jesus told the rich man how to gain the Kingdom, but is the price too high for you and me?

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
10/21/2022 (1 month ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Serve, rich man, parable, Jesus, God, Apostles, giving, donate

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Let's say Jesus appeared before you and me, today. most people would be excited at this prospect. Me? I'd be terrified. "Is this it? Is my time up, Lord?" 

If this surprises you, allow me to explain. I'd be greatly concerned that I hadn't done enough. Sure, I checked all the boxes. I went to Mass, I went to Confession regularly. I raised my children in the faith. I was generally a good person, I forgave all who wronged me, and I begged forgiveness for my wrongdoings. I give to my parish every month. God knows what is in my heart. 

But then, I'd look at my own life. It's nice. My home, wife, and the weather are all beautiful. I have savings in the bank. My car isn't fancy, but it's decent. I take a vacation every year. I have an iPhone and everything else I want. It's so nice, I never want anything for Christmas, other than to be with family. 

It makes me wonder... Am I the rich man? 

You bet I am. 

As an American, I have every convenience in my home. I have the fastest high-speed internet, multiple televisions (I never watch). I have a nice washer and dryer with more features than I can figure out how to use. I have a gas-fired oven and range, a microwave, my water is clean, I have three bathrooms in the house. When compared to the rest of the world, I live like a king. There are billions of people who lack appliances, even flushing toilets and reliable electricity. 

More importantly, we live in a world where the Gospel is either inaccurately preached, or not preached at all. I some places, it's persecuted. Here, I am free to attend Mass every day if I like. I give Bibles and rosaries as gifts and they're appreciated. I'm lucky. 

Sadly, we also have problems here. We have preachers telling people that the Gospel requires them to vote for a Caesar, or that sinful behaviors are actually okay. No wonder people are abandoning Christianity for agnosticism, atheism, and spiritual woo. They are being served a false Gospel, lukewarm water. 

But what can I do? What can you do? We can't eradicate poverty, become priests, or travel the world, toting a 2"x4" cross on our back. We have families, jobs, and other commitments. We are comfortable. Sure, we have bills and obligations too. We can't responsibly walk away from those either. 

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

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When Jesus invited the rich man to follow Him, He was quite clear. 

Mark 10:17-25

17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, 'Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'
18 Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
19 You know the commandments: You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.'
20 And he said to him, 'Master, I have kept all these since my earliest days.'
21 Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, 'You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.'
22 But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
23 Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!'
24 The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, 'My children,' he said to them, 'how hard 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 someone rich to enter the kingdom of God.'

Man, this sounds just like me. I really identify with the rich man more than Jesus! Hey, I'm just being honest here. And we all need to be honest, especially with ourselves.

Fortunately, Jesus does not expect each person to become an Apostle. That's why He called specific people, not everyone. That is a relief! BUT, we are not absolved of the responsibility to share the Gospel. 

Jesus made that clear too:

Matthew 28:18-20

18 Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'

So wait. How do we reconcile these? Isn't it enough to keep the Commandments? (But who among us does even that?) NO, it isn't enough.

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

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We find our answer in the wanderings of Jesus and the Apostles. As explained, Jesus did not ask all people to sell their possessions and follow him across the country. Instead, Jesus and the Apostles required people like you and me to open their homes. People who provided food, shelter, and other things they needed. This allowed these chosen people, individuals with an Apostolate, (that means the authority and responsibility to serve) to perform their work. 

This is one way I satisfy this requirement. I cheerfully give to those who are doing the Lord's work. Now I am not perfect, and I don't pretend that what I do is enough. I rely on Jesus to make up the difference I can't provide. However, if we do what we can, He will do so. I know because He told us so! At the end of the Parable of the Rich Man comes these encouraging verses: 

Mark 10:26-27

26 They were more astonished than ever, saying to one another, 'In that case, who can be saved?'
27 Jesus gazed at them and said, 'By human resources it is impossible, but not for God: because for God everything is possible.'

In plain English, it means this: we cannot save ourselves. We are not all called to literally follow Jesus into the desert. But we are called to do what we can. Keeping the Commandments is only part of it. We have the Great Commission too (Matthew 28:18-20, quoted above). 

One way we can be responsible Christians and do what is asked, is to support those who are literally walking in the footsteps of Christ. Use the link below to do your part. I'm doing it, and I feel better for having done so! 

Click here and be Responsible for Spreading the Gospel; One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

In Christ,

- Marshall Connolly

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

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