Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack 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 he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
* * * * * * *
The rich man was trying so hard to follow Jesus and Jesus knew it. I love that it says that Jesus look at him and loved him even as the man's obstacle was so apparent. The truth is that humanity's greatest life-sucking force is that we horde power and trust wealth. In my life, I have heard my own voice define my economic position in life as "better than many, not as much as some" or that I don't have much "discretionary money." Jesus would have looked at me and loved me through my short-sightedness. ALL of my money is discretionary. I just moved from a large house to a smaller one. I threw away and donated an embarrassing amount of things I thought I needed but only wanted for a time. I still live in a house where I don't live in all of the spaces. I still have many more possessions to abandon. It is a spiritual exercise because my vision of the dominion of God is still clouded. I don't think in terms of heaven as "up there" or "after death" or a "gated community." Heaven is right here and now poking at us, ever so gently, to wake up. In my sleepy awakening, I am discovering the power of love and to trust in the mystery of God's economy.
* * * * * * * *
Ego sum pauper. Nihil habeo. Cor meum dabo.