“You want me to do what?” By Jessica Leguizamon, Fiat Ventures

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

There’s something moving about taking a beat and wondering, “what am I doing with my life?” Maybe you’re reading this and asking that very same question. Wondering why you decided to even keep reading this blog. “What are you doing with your life”? God asks us this very question through this week’s readings. He’s not asking you what you are doing in the sense of “Are you watching football later?” Or “Are you going to the mall with Stephanie after lunch today?” He’s asking you “What are you doing to enter the Kingdom of God?” What a question!

We see this most clearly in the Gospel this week. The rich young man comes to Jesus and asks, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He probably thinks pretty highly of himself (as most of us do ourselves), and after Jesus lays out the commandments, he probably found himself trying to hold back a smile. “Perfect,” he thought, “I’ve got this covered! I’ve observed all these commandments from my youth. I’m pretty much the holiest guy I know.” Then Jesus goes on to add one more thing; “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Give up your money. Give up your sins. Give up everything. Because there’s nothing richer or more fulfilling than following Jesus, because God promises so much more in return. Jesus says that there is not one person who has given all that they have, including their very life, to the Lord that will go unrewarded.

God may not be calling each of us to literally give up everything we own (though he might be calling you to become a priest or a religious sister who does that!), but all of us are called to put God first. Period. It can be a little trickier to navigate living out the faith when we’re not called to as literal of a “giving up everything” as this young man was though.

That’s where the first reading comes in – we need Wisdom to navigate this! We’re called to be “in” the world, but not “of” it. In this week’s first reading, the book of Wisdom reflects on how crucial it is for us to desire and seek wisdom. Interestingly enough, the words used are not saying outright that you need to seek wisdom over all things. The words are, “I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her”. So where do we look for Wisdom? The second reading points us to Scripture! It talks about the Word of God as being living and effective. Reading scripture used to feel so daunting to me. I always expected there to be some kind of “aha!” moment where Heaven’s angels would come down and play their trumpets as I open the bible and get blinded by the holiest light beam I have ever seen. On the contrary, reading scripture usually much less light-beamish and rather intimate. And when we have our eyes and ears fixed on God’s word, we’ll have wisdom to make those everyday decisions that will help us put God first and keep the Kingdom in mind.

What God asks of us is more simple than we would have expected. He wants us to let go of all of these ideas that we need money, or an incredible resume to get to our end goal in life to be happy. The decision He asks us to make is simple. Stop trying to do everything on your own. Stop trying to please everyone around you. Start living and focusing on His living word and follow Him wherever that may lead you. So, this week and beyond, remember who you are keep the Kingdom in mind! 

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