The Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 10, 2021 Cycle B
by Rev. Jose Maria de Sousa Alvin Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B., Chaplain,
Saint John Paul II National Shrine
 Washington, D.C.

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Sunday Reading Meditations

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells a rich man: “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me
” (Mk 10:21). The rich man chose not to follow Jesus because he was attached to his many possessions. He went away sad, as it happens when we do not choose Christ and prefer other things to him: “At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions” (Mk 10:22). He kept his possessions, but lost an infinite treasure.

Today’s first reading says that wisdom is preferable to all else: “I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her […] because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire” (Wis 7:8–9). Psalm 34 says: “Those who seek the Lord lack no blessing” (Ps 34:11).

Jesus is the wisdom of God, as Saint Paul says: “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. […] It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God” (1 Cor 1:24.30).

Christ is the wisdom of the Father and also his word. In today’s second reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews speaks about the power of the word of God: “Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4:12).

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says that we inherit eternal life by following him. To follow Christ means to believe in him, to let the word of God transform us, allowing him to be the center of our lives. As we follow the Lord, we ask him to fill our empty hearts with his grace and love. Today’s responsorial psalm says: “Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days” (Ps 90:14).

To inherit eternal life is to fulfill our lives. However, happiness seems to be impossible to man: “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God” (Mk 10:27).

Faith opens us to the impossible of God, as Jesus says: “Everything is possible to one who has faith” (Mk 9:23). This is amazing!

The impossible is not a vague possibility but a sure hope. The impossible has already happened: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). During the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel says to Mary: “Nothing will be impossible for God” (Lk 1:37). Mary knows that the Lord can do all things (cf. Job 42:2). She is certain that there is nothing too marvelous for the Lord to do (cf. Gen 18:14). She knows that the hand of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear (cf. Is 59:1).

The Gospel gives us the example of a man who chose to not follow Christ but also the example of the apostles, who did follow him. Peter tells Jesus: “We have given up everything and followed you” (Mk 10:28). Jesus replies by saying that they will receive a hundred times more now and eternal life in the hereafter, as the Communion Antiphon says: “When the Lord appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2).

We invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pillar of Faith. May she obtain for us the grace of the increase of our faith. May she help us to prefer and follow her Son Jesus. May we believe, as she believed, that all things are possible to God.  Amen.