love just is…there is no understanding why
A man asked him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments…” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the realm of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the realm of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
We continually have to resist the belief that there’s something we have to do to “be saved.” We think there are “good” people (the man thought Jesus was one) and others who are less so. We believe our salvation is up to us. Clearly the disciples think so. Were that true, of course it would be impossible. But it’s up to God. And God has already “saved” us.
Take note that Jesus looks at the man and loves him. The man does not need to do anything for Jesus to love him; he already does. He responds to the man not with requirements but with love. Because that’s his point. There is no requirement. God already loves us. We are already saved. There is no salvation beyond God’s love; God’s love is not insufficient for our eternal joy. All we need to be “saved” from is our own distrust. The man seems to have great possessions but “lacks one thing.” Jesus looks on him in his poverty and sets him free: let go of what you can measure and what you can lose—either riches or goodness—and grasp only what is infinite, what is already yours.
Meditate on this infinite love of God. It is yours, now. It surrounds you, fills you, gives you every breath. You can’t deserve it more or less. It is simply here. Even as you ask and wonder, maybe even doubt, God looks at you with love. God’s delight is not up to you. Let this light break in, and become you.
As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.
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