28th Sunday (Note & Bulletin)

The Psalmist writes “Fill us with your love, O Lord, that we may rejoice and be glad.” While none of us would say this statement is untrue, many of us live in a way that seems to say that the love of God is not enough. I think it just seems that way because in reality it is not that God’s love is not enough, it is that we don’t seem to have a sense of it and a feel of it in our lives. I remember when a time when people would ask me about different things, like hockey, school, a job; I always felt the need to exaggerate. I exaggerated, not because I enjoyed lying or not telling the whole truth, but because I felt the truth of who I was wasn’t so impressive and therefore not so loveable. I desired to be filled “with your love, O Lord,” but I resisted it at every turn. I thought I had to make myself into a ‘somebody’ in order to be loved by others and by God. In this way, I lacked faith, I lacked faith that God knew what he was doing when he died on the cross for me. It is this life of choice, of choosing to accept the Father’s love instead of the impossible task of earning it that lays at the heart of this week’s Gospel.

In St Mark’s Gospel we have the story of Jesus and the rich young man. We know that the rich young man is a good man—he has followed the commandments since his youth. We also know that he lacks one thing—“go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he “was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.” The wealth of the young man gave him a status, a sense of worth with those around him. In his community, he was indeed a ‘somebody’. It’s like when we see someone driving in an expensive car. We may say to ourselves, “I wish I were him/her.” In the Gospel, Jesus is not condemning possessions. He is offering us the love of the Father. The Gospel says that “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.” He was not angry, he did not judge. He simply offered loved. The young man said no. The thought of losing his status or his worth in the eyes of others was too much of a risk. He knew what he had and even though he desired something more and different, he couldn’t let go.

In our own lives, sometimes we build for ourselves little worlds. And in these little worlds we know who we are. In our families, maybe we are the ‘success story’ or maybe we are the ‘black sheep.’ In the work place, maybe we’re the favorite of the boss, or maybe we’re without a job. In the classroom, maybe we’re the envy of others, or maybe we just can’t seem to ‘do math.’ Maybe in our later years we feel fully engaged in the world around us or maybe we feel left behind. In all these things, be it smooth sailing or a rocky road, we can forget

the love of the Father which Jesus offers. Beginning on this Sunday, let us not go away grieving, but let us see and know that Jesus looks at us and loves us. We know what we want. We don’t want little world and kingdoms, rather we want love. And God is offering us his total love. Let us say ‘Yes!’ Let us live a life with our hearts fixed on the prize. And the prize is free, it is the love of the Father. So with the Psalmist, we shout “Fill us!"

God Bless, and Take care.

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