A blog had a survey, “What is one thing that you cannot live without?” Of course, the answers varied, but there were some very interesting ones: Gummy Bears, Pistachio Ice Cream, Vicks Vapor Rub, Vinyl Record Collection. The most mentioned items were money, family, and cellphones.
In the Gospel, a rich man runs up to God asking how he can attain eternal life. We can learn three things from the response of Christ:
- Sell What You Have. We came into this world with nothing and we are leaving this world with nothing, yet we can be attached to so many things. If this attachment controls our life, hence it is not who owns this material thing, it is the material thing that owns us. Perhaps this is one of the biggest insults we can give God – that there is something or someone more important than Him.
- Give to the Poor. “What is it in for me?” is a typical question. Why do I give when there is nothing in return? We forget that the Lord will take care of those who take care of the poor.
- Follow Jesus. Jesus was about doing the Will of the Father, carrying one’s cross, service, trusting God, and forgiving, among many other endeavors.
Hence we remember the words of St. Philip Neri, the saint of Joy, “I prefer Heaven.” Yes, even if it means letting go; yes, even if it’s about giving without counting the cost; and yes, even if it means the many sacrifices in life. After all, we were made by God and we should return to God, without the Gummy Bears, Pistachio Ice Cream, Vicks Vapor Rub…