Certainly many individuals came up to Jesus with questions pertaining to inheriting eternal life. Why was it important that this incident be recorded in the Gospel of Mark, and that it involved a rich man? I will let the cat out of the bag early, and give three reasons why it is important. First, most of us seem to envy the wealthy. Second, many of assume that riches are a sign of God’s blessing. And third, although not the only idol, or false god, Money is perhaps the greatest of the idols.
Latest NewsletterGrace Notes 2021-10-13
Upon the recommendation of the Senior of the Society of the Holy Trinity I have taken up the spiritual classic, “The Imitation of Christ”, by Thomas a Kempis. This fifteenth century work has been for the last five hundred years the most widely read book of Christian devotion in the world. And although not a thick volume, it begs to be read devotionally, a chapter a day.
Last week I shared with you a verse I labeled as being pivotal. It was from Acts 2:42. Again, to refresh your memory, it reads, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” This is largely a description of the activity of those recently baptized and incorporated into the Body of Christ.
A pivotal verse for understanding Christian fellowship is that which is found in the second chapter of Acts. The context is on the heels of the first sermon by an Apostle in the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It happens on the Day of Pentecost fifty days after Jesus’ Resurrection. The sermon by the Apostle Peter is actually scathing. The law portion was very direct. “You crucified [Jesus, God’s anointed] and [had him] killed by the hands of lawless men.” But then the gospel portion was equally strong. “This Jesus God raised up,” and you will, “[receive] the forgiveness of sin, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
I recently finished rereading the book of Job (pronounced Jobe), and got more out of it this time around than anytime I can remember. I read through this book at least once a year. And why it was so poignant and informative this time I can only guess. Certainly the difficult times many of are experiencing may have something to do with it. And no doubt it was the Holy Spirit’s work to capture my attention, focus, and the ability to make connections.
There is never a time when we don’t need to be wary of the enemy, namely the devil. We can also speak of the enemy being threefold: the devil, the world, and our sinful self (the flesh). St. Peter warns us, “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1Pe 5:8). This has been true from the first transgression of Adam and Eve, and it has remained true ever since. And it is absolutely true in the times we currently live in!