Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

What must I do to inherit eternal life?

The rich young man who asks Jesus the question, ‘what must I do?’ goes away sad, because Jesus tells him he must give away his possessions, and he cannot bring himself to do that. The question of wealth and possessions is as difficult today as it was at the time of the encounter. The word that St Ignatius would use to describe the best way to think about our possessions is ‘indifference’. He says we ought not to seek health rather than sickness, wealth rather than poverty, honour rather than dishonour, a long life rather than a short one. The readings this week ask us to reflect on our indifference to wealth and possessions, or absence of it.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.



I prayed, and understanding was given to me; I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing. (Wisdom 7:7)

  • What have you received for God through prayer?
  • What is more precious than riches for you?
  • Pray for the spirit of Wisdom to come to you.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about his gifts?



In the morning, fill us with your live; we shall exult and rejoice all our days. Give us joy to balance our affliction for the years when we knew misfortune (Psalm 89: 14-15)

  • When have you been filled with love?
  • What have been your afflictions?
  • How have your misfortunes been balanced by joy?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your misfortunes?



The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow. (Hebrews 4:12)

  • How would you describe the word of God in your life?
  • Have you ever been cut to the quick by the Word?
  • What is the difference between the soul and the spirit?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about his Word?



 It can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account of ourselves. (Hebrews 4:13)

  • Is there anything ‘covered up’ or secret in your life?
  • How does it feel to know that God still loves you?
  • What will the account of your life be like?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about how he sees you?



Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, 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’. (Mark 10:17-18)

  • What is the significance of wanting to ‘inherit’ eternal life?
  • Do you know the commandments?
  • What is the question you would ask the Lord just now?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about his love for you?



And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said to him, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth. (Mark 10: 20-22)

  • Imagine Jesus looking steadily at you and loving you.
  • What is preventing you from following Jesus more closely?
  • When did Jesus say to you, ‘come, follow me.’?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your following of him?



‘My children’, he said to them, ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’, he said, ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God. (Mark 10:24-27)

  • How much do you worry about material things?
  • Why is it so hard for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom?
  • Reflect on ‘everything is possible for God’.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about the way you live your life?

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