Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds

8/19/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This young man was not ready for a life of self-denial.

Despite his faithfulness to The Law, the youth of the Gospel was unfulfilled.  His obedience was a good beginning, but it could not satisfy his inner longing for holiness.  He is looking for something more, and he goes to Jesus to find it.

Despite his faithfulness to The Law, the youth of the Gospel was unfulfilled.  His obedience was a good beginning, but it could not satisfy his inner longing for holiness.  He is looking for something more, and he goes to Jesus to find it.

Despite his faithfulness to The Law, the youth of the Gospel was unfulfilled. His obedience was a good beginning, but it could not satisfy his inner longing for holiness. He is looking for something more, and he goes to Jesus to find it.

Highlights

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/19/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Year of Faith, Daily Homily, Gospel of Matthew; Rich Young Man, Commandments, Sincerity, Hypocrisy, Discipleship, Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds, St. Theresa Sugar Land TX


SUGAR LAND, TX (Catholic Online) - During the course of his public ministry, Jesus never hesitates to identify hypocrisy and condemn it.  Christian discipleship demands total sincerity: with God, with others, and with oneself.  How could it be otherwise for those who have decided to follow the one who calls himself "the way and the truth and the life"  (John 14:6)?

Christ's utter commitment to the truth makes the Gospel of today's Mass all the more striking (cf. Matthew 19:16-22).  A young man wants to know the path to heaven.  Jesus exhorts him to obey the commandments, and the youth responds by saying "All of these I have observed.  What do I still lack?" (Matthew 19:20).

This is a remarkable statement for two reasons.

First, this young man claims to have observed all of the commandments.  If he were being insincere, Jesus would have challenged him.  He might have even identified this youth with the scribes and Pharisees, who so often fell into hypocrisy.

How many of us could claim total obedience to the commandments of God without blushing?  Clearly, this young man was very virtuous.  He had good moral habits and avoided serious sin.  Yet, something was missing from his life.

"What do I lack?"

Second, despite his faithfulness to The Law, the youth of the Gospel was unfulfilled.  His obedience was a good beginning, but it could not satisfy his inner longing for holiness.  He is looking for something more, and he goes to Jesus to find it.

The youth is unprepared, however, for what the Lord says to him.

"If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions" (Matthew 19:21-22).

This young man was not ready for a life of self-denial.  Maybe he had never heard Jesus preach on the necessity of personal sacrifice: "Who-ever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).  Or perhaps this young person thought that Jesus was only speaking figuratively, and that the principle of self-renunciation was simply an ideal to be admired from afar, rather than embraced and lived in a spirit of absolute identification with our Savior.

Rejecting the Lord's invitation, the youth turns away from Jesus.  This is the source of his sadness.  Whenever we turn away from Christ, we are robbed of happiness.

There are times when it is difficult to live our Christian discipleship.  The Church of Christ follows a path of contradiction that the world frequently misunderstands and often rejects.  To be a sincere Christian - living without hypocrisy - in our culture can sometimes be exceedingly difficult.  Despite the challenges, our instinct must always be to turn towards Christ, and never away from him.

Throughout the day each of us have numerous opportunities to exercise this essential mark of the Christian life.  Choosing to pray rather than to daydream; deciding to be generous and charitable, rather than selfish and self-absorbed; eschewing what is impure in favor of what is wholesome.  Each of these moments are occasions to hear Christ say, "Follow me," and to respond faithfully.

May the Blessed Mother of God, whose "yes" still echoes throughout the cosmos, interceded for us that we might always do what she did, and live the word of God with joy and sincerity.

-----
Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds is the Pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Texas. You are invited to visit them on the Web at: www.SugarLandCatholic.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:1-6
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!2 I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 31st, 2014 Image

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guipúzcoa, Spain, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter