There are definitely no minced words in today’s readings. The children of Israel began serving other gods, so the Lord got angry with them and allowed them to suffer disastrous consequences.
In the Gospel, a young man asks what more he can do and Jesus tells Him to give up everything and follow Him. Jesus does not congratulate him for following the commandments, nor does He say, “Oh alright, you are already such a good guy, you win a free ticket to heaven!”
No, Jesus speaks the truth in justice. Sometimes what He says is not such music to our ears. Sometimes it is more like a clashing gong.
Yet we know that his promises are true. We know that what He says, what He asks us to do, is for our own good, for our own ultimate good, for our eternal salvation.
As parents, we often have to tell our children what they do not want to hear. We often have to limit sweets, screen time, and other “fun” things in order to teach them self-control and how to take care of themselves. We have to show them how to take turns with their siblings, how to share, how to conduct themselves with good manners, etc. None of this is easy for them to hear. Much of it probably does not sound fair. And if they do not obey, they too have consequences.
Yet as they grow, they also realize that what we have attempted to teach them in these not so pleasant moments is ultimately for their own good as well. They may rebel as the children of Israel did, or they may think they are already good enough as the man in the Gospel did. In the end, only God is their judge.
Today, let us ask God not to mince words with us but to tell us directly what more we should do to love and serve Him more fully, more completely and more purely.
Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her kiddos occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at her parish, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for over 20 years.
Feature Image Credit: Sarah Wolfe, https://unsplash.com/photos/GtYyn0AyMa8