Daily Devotional for August 16
August 16 Mark 10:17-31
The question is posed to Jesus: "What must I do to inherit
eternal life?" One interpretation of this question is, "How do
I make it to heaven?" Jesus' response makes it clear, however,
that he interprets the question to mean, "How do I really live?
Not just make it through life, not just get by, but how do I
live meaningfully now?"
Jesus' response therefore focuses on life in the here and now.
He summarizes the major commandments, which are rooted
in an ultimate reverence for everyday life. In recounting the
commandments, Jesus calls the inquirer to find fullness of life
by respecting the lives of others, by honoring the life-giving
relationship between two people, by not taking from others
those things needful to their lives or good names, and by
honoring and respecting the source of one's own life.
Clearly the man asking the question does not understand the
underlying meaning of what Jesus is saying to him, for he
responds that he has kept these commandments since his
youth. Jesus then makes the message clearer: "... sell what
you have and give to the poor." In other words, take whatever
is important in your life and give it to others. In giving away
what is important in your life, you will find fullness of life
It is significant that Jesus directs the man to give what is
important in his own life to those who can use what he is
giving: there is a matching of the man's resources to the needs
of others. Jesus does not call us to give away indiscriminately
all things that are needful or important to us, but to give
whatever we give in a way that supports and empowers the
lives of others. The promise to the young man, and to us, is
that this kind of sharing will result in the experience of eternal
life even now.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989