Audio Readings August 19, 2013 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Saint John Eudes, Priest

Judges 2:11-19; Psalm 106:34-37, 39-40, 43-44;Matthew 19:16-22
“Come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21).

Sometimes our eyes get fooled. Magicians distract us with drama to keep us from seeing what how they do their trick. Optical illusions focus our eyes on detail, and we have to refocus in order to see the real image. And it’s not just with our physical eyesight that we can have the wrong focus. Sometimes we get our focus wrong in our spiritual life as well.

Jesus encountered a young man in today’s reading who was focused on getting everything right in his life. In fact, he was quite confident that he was making good progress, but he knew something was missing. He assumed it was one more thing he could do, something he needed to add to his list. But Jesus wanted to refocus his attention. “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor… . Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21).

Jesus knew that as a rich and powerful leader, this man faced many obstacles to following these words. Suddenly, the one who was so confident in his abilities was brought up short. He couldn’t shift his attention from himself and his achievements to refocus it on Jesus. But that’s where he could find the answer to his question, about gaining eternal life?” Jesus is the answer: following him, being in relationship with him. That’s the way to eternal life.

This passage tells us about the power of idols to keep us from following Jesus. For this fellow, it was possessions that held him back. For someone else, it may be status or resentment or an sinful relationship. In reality, it could be anything that takes our focus off of Jesus and his call to eternal life.

Whatever is holding you back, don’t make it into a bigger obstacle than it has to be. Don’t think that he won’t accept you until you have overcome it completely. You don’t have to go away sad, as this rich man did. Instead ask Jesus to help you step by step. He will! So take up Jesus’ offer, and choose to follow him just as you are.

“Jesus, help me to turn my eyes to you, and to follow you wherever you lead.”~WAU

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About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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