Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep; to gain what he cannot lose.” These words, recorded in Jim Elliott’s personal journal on October 28 1949, are the affirmative conclusion of a young man grappling with the same eternal question posed by the rich young man we encounter today. Unlike this one who walked away sad, Jim Elliott never wavered from his choice. While seeking to evangelize the Huaorani people in Ecuador, he and four other companions became martyrs on January 8, 1956.
St. Ignatius also grappled with this eternal question. “Why do I feel incomplete? What is missing in my life?” His conclusion was as affirming as Elliott’s: “He who forgets himself for God’s service may be sure that God will not forget him.”
As I consider the lives of these three men, I ask myself, “What is it in my life that prevents me from being all I can be for God?”
—Howard Craig is the provincial assistant for Advancement on behalf of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus.
I want what you want, O Lord.
By asking you for guidance with complete confidence and faith that you are helping me, nothing that I am called upon to do becomes “too much” or “too bothersome.”
Nor is there any room for worry. I will find it easy to ask you each day to be a partner in my work…to help me get things done…to weigh my actions and decisions in the light of ‘is this right?’ ‘is this just?’ ‘is this doing your will?’
With your help I will make decisions better and faster, knowing that you will not lead me astray. I will have confidence that, by wanting what you want, I need not worry about the outcome. So I will live my life, knowing that it is your will that I accomplish.
—from Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009 Marquette University Press.Please share the Good Word with your friends!