Weekly Reflection - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 14, 2018

The Rich Young Man’s Need to Live in Thanksgiving to the Father

Let us now pause to contemplate the person of Jesus during his earthly life. In his humanity he had experienced our joys. He has manifestly known, appreciated, and celebrated a whole range of human joys, those simple daily joys within the reach of everyone. The depth of his interior life did not blunt his concrete attitude or his sensitivity.

He admires the birds of heaven, the lilies of the fields. He immediately grasps God’s attitude towards creation at the dawn of history. He willingly extols the joy of the sower and the harvester, the joy of the man who finds a hidden treasure, the joy of the shepherd who recovers his sheep or of the woman who finds her lost coin, the joy of those invited to the feast, the joy of a marriage celebration, the joy of the father who embraces his son returning from a prodigal life, and the joy of the woman who has just brought her child into the world.

For Jesus, these joys are real because for him they are the signs of the spiritual joys of the kingdom of God: the joy of people who enter this kingdom return there or work there, the joy of the Father who welcomes them. And for his part Jesus himself manifests his satisfaction and his tenderness when he meets children wishing to approach him, a rich young man who is faithful to him, like Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. His happiness is above all to see the Word accepted, the possessed converted, a widow taking from her poverty and giving. He even exults with joy when he states that the little ones have the revelation of the kingdom which remains hidden from the wise and able.

Yes, because Christ was a man like us in all things but sin, he accepted and experienced affective and spiritual joys, as a gift of God. And he did not rest until to the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation...and to those in sorrow, joy. The Gospel of Saint Luke particularly gives witness to this seed of joy. The miracles of Jesus and his words of pardon are so many signs of divine goodness: all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him, and gave glory to God. For the Christian as for Jesus, it is a question of living, in thanksgiving to the Father, the human joys, that the Creator gives him.        

—Pope St. Paul VI (+1978)


























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