Twenty Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Greeks had a very nice way of teaching a lesson. They would often tell a story. One of these stories is about a king called Midas. The gods told him, he could wish for anything he wanted and he would get it.  So he wished that everything he touched would turn to gold.  At the beginning he was very happy;  but then he realised he could’nt eat anymore, because eveything he touched turned to gold and then when he greeted his daughter, she turned to gold as well.  He realised he was losing the most importnat things in his life, because of his selfishness and greed.  He was surrounded by riches, but he was the poorest man in the land. In today’s gospel, we find a rich young man,  who approaches Jesus.  He is bubbling with enthusiasm and full of happines. He is not sick, he is not blind, he is not deaf,  he is not a sinner, he is young he is healthy and he is rich.  He asks Jesus: ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’  Jesus told him to live a good honest life. He responded:  ‘I already do that’. Then Jesus says: ‘if you really want to do something more,  go sell everything you have and give the money to the poor’; and then follow me’.  The young man went away sad, he could not follow Jesus, because he was too weighed down by his own possessions and selfshness.  He turned around and walked away sad.  He lost the happiness that he had almost found. Taylor Caldwell has a book written about the journeys of St. Luke (‘Healer of body and soul’). In this book he mentions that Luke one day wanted to make a journey, no boat available. This rich person came up to Luke and said he was embarking next day and could take him to wherever he wanted to go. On the journey, St. Luke realised that this man was very wealthy; he has a big boat with plenty of commodities on board. As they were talking, they spoke about Jesus. The rich man said he was very sad because he had an opportunity on one occasion to be a follower of Christ but let is pass. ‘Why can’t you go now?’ asked Luke; ‘It’s too late’ retorted the rich man, ‘they crucified Him’.  The lesson in our gospel today is that in the heart of each of us, there is a rich young man or a rich young woman,  maybe a King Midas; and they prevent us from going through life with a sense of happiness and freedom; because, we are too weighed down by our own attachments and possessions.  Jesus reminds us that in order to go through life we must free ourselves from these attachments.  We cannot go through life weighed down by excess baggage,  whatever it may be.  When Jesus calls it is always to a new happiness and a new freedom.  All we have to do is to let go of our excess baggage.