28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him
The young man of the gospel today is often a sharp reminder for me of my state in life, wherever I
may be. As I reflected on the scriptures today, I contemplated the image of Jesus and me,
encapsulated in a moment of true encounter. How does it feel to have Jesus’ eyes look steadily at
me and love me? There is such a beautiful and tender feeling in that picture I hold in my mind. Right
now, I am aware of the distance I feel from Jesus’ heart.
Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God, the logos (in Greek), the Infinite Wisdom. The Old Testament
scriptures today point to the prophecy of encounter that the young man would experience when
face to face with the person of Christ. ‘The word of God is something alive and active… it can slip
through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit’ (Heb 4:12); and it is this spirit of Wisdom
that cut so finely through the secret emotions and thoughts of the young man to unveil such great
sorrow within him.
When Jesus looked, it was an active, penetrating, and radiant look of perfect love. And the young
man’s desires came undone when Jesus told him, “There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything
you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow
me.” (Mk 10:21) In the gospel account, we are not told that the young man beheld the loving gaze of
Jesus, instead his face fell and he went away.
There are times when I have looked away from Jesus’ loving gaze, feeling either ashamed, unworthy,
or angry and hardened with some kind of bitterness. I realise I have not allowed Jesus to love me, for
his love to soften and change my heart. Because honestly, it can be scary – wondering what I will be
called to do. Worrying over what I must next give up, whether my ‘riches’ be an assignment, a
coveted project, a friendship, a burden. Anything that could stand between my life being united with
Christ even more. I fear change and material poverty.
Some of us are not the young man but the apostles. We may have given up much already, yet we are
now ‘counting our losses’ and mentally chalking up ‘spiritual credit’. With divine wisdom, Jesus slices
through this self-righteous mentality too, and tells us, “For men, it is impossible, but not for God:
because everything is possible for God.” (Mk 10:27)
What else is Jesus calling you to relinquish today? Will you let his loving gaze meet yours?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Debbie Loo)
Prayer: Loving Father, we seek Your wisdom to enlighten our minds and change our hearts, so that
we may understand the truths you reveal in our hearts.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for loving me despite my imperfections and unreadiness to receive