Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin
Come, follow me (Mark 10:21)
1 Peter 1:3-9; Psalm 111:1-2, 5-6, 9-10;Mark 10:17-27
In the fantasy film Labyrinth, a teenager named Sarah tries to rescue her baby brother from the evil Goblin King. To reach him, she must make her way through an enormous labyrinth. At one point she meets a character named the Junk Lady, who distracts her by showing her an exact copy of her room at home. She shows Sarah her toys, saying, “Everything you’ve ever cared about is here.” Then Sarah remembers that she still has to save her brother. “It’s all junk!” she cries, throwing one of her toys against her mirror. At that moment, the room dissolves, and she is able to escape.
Like Sarah, the rich young man in today’s Gospel was faced with a decision about his possessions. But while Sarah saw through the “junk” that trapped her, this fellow could not.
We are all faced with the same question that this young man faced: who is Jesus? Is he the eternal Son of God, sent to save us from sin and open heaven for us? Or is he just a good teacher and charismatic leader? Or, to put it another way, is Jesus far more important than our possessions, or is he just one of many equally good things in our lives? This isn’t just an issue of money, either. Many other “idols” can compete with the Lord, including our strongly held opinions, our social standing, and the grudges and resentments we choose to hold onto.
There is an old hymn that says, when we “look full in his wonderful face,” the “things of earth will grow strangely dim.” So today, imagine yourself as the rich young man. Go ahead and say to him whatever you want. But then, when he looks into your eyes, stay there for a minute, and look back at him. Imagine the look on his face and the intensity of his gaze. See his love and compassion for you. See how your heart is moved to love him in return. That’s the moment when you’re ready to give up anything and everything for him. That’s the moment when you have escaped.
“Lord, help me to find my treasure in you. Come, Jesus, and fill my heart with the fire of your love. Lord, I give everything to you!”