Is your way of life conducive to relationship with God?
The man who kneels before Jesus in Mark's Gospel doesn't seem to be sure. He has observed all the commandments Jesus puts before him from his youth, but when Jesus challenges him to sell what he has and give to the poor, the man goes away sad, downcast, not sure he can meet the challenge Jesus has placed before him. Although the man believes there is something he can do to effect salvation, to earn eternal life, in actuality the man has to allow salvation to be effected in him, opening himself to God, to the love of God, by dealing with his personal obstacles and barriers. It is that love that will bring all good things, and difficulties, too -- but for God, all things are possible. It is an open heart, first and foremost, that helps us to live a life conducive to relationship with God.
The Book of Wisdom offers additional advice on the path we should be trying to follow toward right relationship with God. I prayed, and prudence was given me: prayer is our first access to God; it is the path to prudence, which helps us to discern, to make sound choices. For nothing is as precious as the gift of wisdom, but here again, wisdom is an ongoing choice, not a static state of being. Give us wisdom of heart, the psalmist prays in Psalm 90, a quality that will engender kindness, joy, and gladness. It is again a request for the ability to discern, to see as God sees, to choose as God would have us choose. Would that we could see God as clearly as God sees us: No creature is concealed from him, the Letter to the Hebrews states, and God's Word can penetrate our soul and spirit, our heart and thoughts, our very joints and marrow.
What do we see, what can we discern, when we examine our life in depth, as God is able to do? And how much is God a part of that life? We are challenged to live a life conducive to relationship, with God and with other. Do the choices we make support that path?
This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
Image source: Wordle