The question of the man, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” may seem to search for a formula for living. His question touched convictions about God, convictions Jesus laid bare in his reply to the man: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Jesus’ answer confuses us because we confuse doing good with the Source of all that is good. God’s goodness exceeds and even excludes human boasting we are good. God’s goodness excludes human needs to impress on others our real or artificial goodness. To the man and to us today, Jesus began his answer that God is the source of goodness.
Activities for the Year of Faith will help us do that. Yet daily each of us comes closer to Jesus when we practice goodness, respect, love and generosity. Doing them brings us nearer to him and forms us as his disciples. Yet, to follow Jesus, to be his disciples, does not make us good. Oh, that it were that easy; but it’s not. In practice possessions are risks to promoting goodness, respect, love and generosity. How? When possessions grip us and manage us. Jesus said we are to manage possessions not be managed by them. To the man Jesus put it this way: “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
- Rest in the Trinity who creates you and gives you creation to make a return of love to our God more easily.
- Ask the disciples, who listened often to Jesus, to present you to him.
- In your words: praise and thank Jesus for drawing you into his friendship.
- Ask Jesus to help you continue to be his disciple more in fact than in name.
- Close by saying slowly the prayer Jesus taught us. It teaches us to show to others the compassion Jesus works in us.
- See Genesis 1.
- A search of the RSV.
- Numbers 14.21, 28.
- A search of the KJV; it appears to follow closely the Greek translation the writers of the NT used.
- His Apostolic Letter announcing the Year of Faith, “Door of Faith,” 2.