Natus in Via
Born on the Way
Aug 19, 2020
20th Week OT
Eyes of Love
“At its first opening, the Lord’s counsel confronted them: If you wish to be perfect, go, sell everything you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”
Legend of the Three Companions 29
Conversion is not a once and done; it’s not even a once. Yes, a first opening in grace, but a lifetime of going, selling all, and giving to the poor. It is a turning of our hearts and minds in response to the look of love of Christ Himself.
In the Gospel of the Rich Young Man, Our Lord seems to trick us. His pedagogy, teaching style, leads us to discover what we hold most dear, and then to compare that to what we find most dear to Him.
We, in our frailty, spend lots of energy on things, stuff. It does become confusing when some of this divided energy is spent on good things, even really good things, but they (the person, place, thing, hopes, fears, dreams and desires) are loved too much. A startling example of this from Our Lord’s own mouth: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:37).
Are we left to confusion, then, about the object of our heart’s desires? No, of course not. First principle, again from Jesus: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” We come to Jesus so often, like the rich young man, to validate those traits, works, desires, and thoughts (etc!) which in the end are dependent upon our human way of understanding. Our Lord, wishing to save us the frustration, asks us to make a glorious exchange: to sell all and give to the poor. In other words, become poor and follow my way. This is how He was born, divesting Himself of glory; how He lived, without place to call his own; how He died, loving Passionately.
In the Gospel of Mark, Our Lord does something so special, He looks upon with love. We can be assured that He always has eyes of love, but we all know that sometimes it is needed a bit more than usual, sometimes a lot more. We desire that gaze, but are, again, looking elsewhere, putting our efforts in other things, when the One Necessary is right before us.
“Be strengthened in the holy service of the Poor Crucified undertaken with a passionate desire” (1 LAg 13).
Fr. Paschal Mary, MFVA