28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 7:7-11 II:
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and
knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I
do to inherit eternal life?"
18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is
good but God alone.
19 You know the commandments: 'Do not kill, Do not commit
adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not
defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"
20 And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from
21 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You
lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the
poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow
22 At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away
sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard
it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of
24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said
to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the
kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then
who can be saved?"
27 Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible,
but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
28 Peter began to say to him, "Lo, we have left everything and
29 Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has
left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or
children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses
and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
- (v.18) When Jesus reprimands the rich man that "no one is good but God
alone," Jesus is not denying His divine status or mission (see Mk 9:37).
wants the rich man to fix his eyes upon God as the only source of goodness.
- (vv.21-22) This is one of the saddest stories in the Gospel. A man whom
Jesus loves rejects His invitation to discipleship. When the man asks "what
do to receive eternal life?" He does not realize a call to discipleship
would mean so much sacrifice.
- (vv.23-24) On addressing His disciples, Jesus begins by stressing the
difficulty of the rich entering heaven; then He passes quickly to stressing
that entering heaven is very hard for everyone. In fact, it is impossible!
- v.25 demonstrates just how impossible it is to enter heaven based on human
- (v.26) In Judaism, wealth was at times taken as God's blessing. Therefore, the
disciples were astonished that God said it was hard for the rich to enter
heaven. Jesus had changed the meaning of wealth .
- (v.27) Salvation is not through man's achievements. It is God's achievement.
- (v.28) Peter's statement contrasts the disciples actions against that of the
rich man. "We have given up everything to follow you". Their "everything"
may not be money. It is whatever they cling to that is not God: be it
family, social status, behaviors...
- (v.30) Jesus lists the promised rewards, which are a hundredfold more than
the sacrifices of following him. Not only will his disciples receive
eternal life, but in this life too they will receive much.
- (v.30) "and persecutions as well". Is this an ironic description of the
"rewards?" Or is it simply the reality of Christian experience?
One Main Point
"Good Master, what must I do to receive eternal life?"
"Come and follow me..." It may be difficult for men, but "...all things
are possible with God."
- I examine my current life: my wealth (be it rich or poor), my health (be
it well or sick), my behaviors. Which helps me be closer to God? Which keeps
me away from Him?
- Jesus' teachings are demanding and challenging. I ask that He look upon
me with love, so that I can trust Him like a child upon his parent, to trust
that "all things are possible with God."
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community