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The good news for the day May 23

Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time (347)

Once when Jesus was setting out on a trip, a man ran up to Him, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit an infinite life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You are familiar with the commandments: Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied, “Teacher, all of these rules I have been obeying since childhood.” Jesus, looking at him, cared about him and said to him, “You are missing one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give it to the poor—and you will have wealth in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. (Mark 10)

The message here is clear. Doing good actions is not enough. Being dutiful, obeying laws and directions, behaving like a nice person—this behavior does not and will not get you to “infinite life.”

Your commitment to mature—your stepping forth into faith in others—choosing to live free of the madness of “this generation”—is what it takes.

The rest of it—conforming to social customs, obeying religious rules externally, and pleasing your parents all your life—is beside the point! It is up to you to choose to die with Jesus—and find a “treasure in heaven”—the rich, rich mystery of being a Child of our Father.

In this instance, you are being asked to free yourself from both constraints of wealth and the pursuit of security—and move yourself from the habits that tie you away from love, from the poor, from the Family of God.

“Infinite life” or “eternal life” is like that valley over the mountain—an unknown sphere or realm where you can get to—only by getting to. You do not earn it by practicing “goodness” (Only God is “good.”) but by an openhearted acceptance of God’s world, a trust that He is your guide.

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