Mk 10: 17-27
Grant me the Serenity
In the readings from the 15th of October, we are invited to consider what is important in our lives as we seek to find the kingdom of God. The first reading talks about the importance of wisdom as a guide to the path. The gospel reading challenges us to consider the story of the rich young man who goes away sad when Jesus tells him he must sell belongings to be able to follow him.
I remember thinking how much easier it was for me than the man in the gospel. I didn’t have any material belongings I needed to sell to enter the kingdom. That’s before I became aware of the “riches” in my life. My riches were internal. I really didn’t want to part with my belongings when invited by Christ. My opinions and judgments are often my hardest treasures to give up. When I am talking to someone about something that I feel is necessary to defend, I find it difficult to listen to people who think quite differently than me.
Sometimes, I hear myself (at least internally), creating imaginary boundaries that keep me from venturing into “the other’s ideas,” because I am right already. I am especially protective of ideas and things that I have prayed about. I find myself much more able to give away one hundred dollars than I am some days to open my heart to the kingdom of love, if that means handing over a dearly beloved way of thinking.
Yet isn’t that what Jesus is asking us to do, to let go of those realities (thoughts, actions, things) which keep us from being part of the kingdom of God…of love? Jesus often chooses children as the model of who can enter the kingdom of God. This week I have the opportunity to live in the question, in what ways is God inviting me to free up my treasure chest in order that I might live in the kingdom?
As we walk this path, perhaps this prayer can guide us.
God, grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.