Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 5th Week of Epiphany: Year 1
“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.” (Mark 10:21)
There are a couple of concerns here. First, the Greek New Testament lacks the article “the,” when it is written, “Give (the) money to the poor.” This could be interpreted to mean to give “some” money to the poor. Jesus and his followers were in constant need of provision. Not accepting any money from this prospective benefactor would reasonably have been unthinkable. We should give for the provision of those in need, but if we give all we have we will be unable to help in the future. Moreover, we too then become “those in need.”
Secondly, Jesus extends the invitation, “Come, follow me,” to this rich man. There were maybe only 7 others recorded in scripture who received this coveted invitation to “follow me:” Simon (Peter) and Andrew – Matthew 4:18 – 20; John and James – Matthew 4: 21 – 22; Matthew (Levi) Matthew 9:9; Philip – John 1:43; and, maybe Nathaniel – John 1: 50 – 51, as we have Jesus addressing him as Nathaniel approached Jesus. But the actual words of “follow me” also go to this rich man. I don’t think he had many possessions as scripture tells us. No, I think many possessions possessed him. Just think, we could have had his name as a disciple and maybe even an apostle.
This reading is about money and the Christian use of it. We, as Christians, are truly called to care for those in need as we are able to do so. We are also called to take care of ourselves so that we are able to continue life in a charitable way. And, while we are counting our dollars, let us not let our dollars count us as one of its slaves. We cannot serve both money and God. Our lord Jesus is asking you to now, “Follow Him!” What say yee?
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John