As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments:You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother." He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
In the spring of 2003, a feature-length film appeared in theaters, telling the true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who defied Hitler and gave witness to the Gospel in the face of the Nazi tyranny. One of Bonhoeffer's best-known books is The Cost of Discipleship. Its very title comes to mind as I read today's Gospel.
Here, Jesus teaches his disciples that he will suffer and die, but the disciples are not only baffled by what the Lord is telling them; they're too busy arguing over who among them is the greatest!
Jesus must remind them once again that the Kingdom demands a lot of the disciple. True greatness lies in service. True disciples take the side of those who are powerless, like the little child Jesus embraces in the story.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived at a time when many religious people chose to ignore a great evil, or worse-collaborate with it. Bonhoeffer wrote, taught, and eventually gave his life in a Nazi prison, to witness to what the Gospel demands: We must speak for the voiceless, even if our service costs us our own lives.
Today's Christians may not face evil on such a global scale, but they nevertheless have lots of opportunities for true Christian witness. May Christ give us strength to consider, and to pay, the cost of discipleship.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In the first reading, what does the writer say happened to him when he received wisdom?
Reflecting on the second reading, what does it mean to say, “The word of God is living and effective?”
Why must we all give an account to God about our lives?
What question did the man ask Jesus in this week's Gospel? What did Jesus say the man lacked?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
Spend a day going through your clothes and see if there are any that you can donate to others who may need them. You can also donate any toys or games you no longer use, or give them to a family you know would use them. Or help others by donating blood.
Work to collect money for an organization that you feel invested in. You can do this by set out a jar someplace where it's visible. Have everyone in the family place any loose change they have in it. After a set amount of time, cash in the money and write a check to the organization.