Longing for the ‘more’. MARK 10:17–30
By the Archbishop’s Appeal
In Mark’s Gospel, we hear the story of the rich man. Immediately, he acknowledges that there is something different about Jesus. The man approaches Jesus with a very deep question. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”.
This very question is what makes this man very familiar to each of us. It reflects the deepest longing of the human heart: the longing for more. The ‘more’ for which we are created.
The man has shown to be faithful to the commandments “since his youth”. However, we see that as Jesus continues, Mark writes that his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful.
We all have dreams, ideas, and desires. We are all looking for a place to call home. A place where we belong, where we are seen, known, and loved. There is something inside of us that longs for someone to show us our place in all of this.
In John’s Gospel, the very first thing Jesus asked the disciples was “What are you looking for?” (Jn 1:38). He is a “good teacher”. The Lord already knew what they were seeking but He wanted them to tell Him.
It is the same with us; God knows what we are seeking but He longs for us to come to Him and share those desires of our hearts. That is the relationship we were created for. This was the communion which the rich man was seeking when he asked about Heaven. Heaven is the fulfilment of all our desires.
In society today, there are a lot of different answers about where we belong, where we should go and what we should be looking for. We can tell ourselves a lot of things, but there is something inside of us that keeps calling us to something beyond ourselves. To something more.
The rich man went away saddened from his conversation with Jesus not because he did not have anything but rather because He had all that the world says we need and yet He was still not satisfied.
Our fallen human nature makes it easier to walk away from the “more” that the Lord calls us to as opposed to the uncertainty of what happens when our lives are not in our control.
We are all made for Heaven. This is why our heart aches to find a place where we can be called to excellence in who we are. It’s what we are all looking for. We’ve all thought at some point in our lives that there must be more to life than what currently is.
Although the young man in Mark’s gospel was physically rich and “had many possessions”, the very fact that he came to Jesus asking of eternal life shows the very longing for the ‘more’.
The Lord invites but He doesn’t force. God says, ‘Yes, I see that something within you. I made it and I’m calling you…to more….Sell all that you have, give the money to the poor and follow me’.
This invitation not only applies to priests and religious, but to every Christian. Though some of us may be called by the Lord to evangelical poverty, as Christians we are all called to live differently, to give generously, to serve wholeheartedly and to love totally as the Lord taught us.
The Lord’s desire for us far supersedes anything we could possibly imagine. In our world, we are told we need so many things, but poverty is not so much not having as it is needing nothing but Jesus. This is the call of Jesus to the rich man and His call to every Christian.
In the words of St Francis of Assisi, we rejoice not because we have everything under the skies but because we have a Father above it! God is the ‘more’ we long for. Let us choose Him every day knowing that He will always satisfy!
The gospel meditations for October are by members of the Archbishop’s Appeal. The Appeal supports the work of the Catholic Church through humble discipleship, obedience to God and universal love for mankind. The Appeal’s efforts are inspired by faith and guided by the desire to create a strong national culture of harmony and unity. As an agency and as individuals, we are committed to cultivating the moral and spiritual elements of every human being through prayer, service, and the communal will to improve.