A story of disappointment or hope?
We hear today about a young man’s desire to do the right thing and so attain eternal life. He is young. He is keen, He is enthusiastic. He is idealistic. He is successful. Jesus gazes at him with great affection. There is something in his sincerity that is instantly likeable. Yet there is something missing in his life.
He knows it in his heart. Why else would he have approached Jesus? Our Lord points him in the direction he needs to go if he is to find the fulfilment and happiness he knows is missing in his life. ‘Give up all your possessions and come follow me and you will find what you seek in abundance.’
It is a big ask for this young man dependent on material wealth and status. Walking away in sadness at an answer he clearly did not anticipate, the encounter may well have inspired him to look again at his priorities and it is possible he even ended up being numbered among Christ’s followers. We are not to know.
There is more to life than following the rules to perfection. Our parish, coming together on a Sunday has a valuable role in providing support to each other and many people have spoken of the power of that support when they have needed it. Ultimately, the support that we are able to give as a community is, of course, coming from God himself. We hold the light for others when they are unable to hold it for themselves. But what gives us this hope when Jesus asks more than we are prepared to pay? Fortunately, Jesus gives us the answer. It is not possible for us by our own efforts, but it is possible for God. And so we can carry on helping each other along the way, hopeful that our humble efforts will be appreciated by our loving Father.
Nicola McCarthy / Father George
CLIFTON DIOCESE (a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales under number 10462076. A registered charity number 1170168. Registered Office: St Ambrose North Road Leigh Woods Bristol BS8 3PW)