“A Christian without memory is not a true Christian but only halfway there: a man or a woman, a prisoner of the moment, who doesn’t know how to treasure his or her history, doesn’t know how to read it and live it as salvation history. With the help of the Holy Spirit, however, we are able to interpret interior inspirations and life events in light of Jesus’ words. And thus, within us grows the knowledge of memory, knowledge of the heart, which is a gift of the Spirit. May the Holy Spirit rekindle the Christian memory within all of us! And there that day with the Apostles was our Lady of Memory, who from the beginning meditated on all those things in her heart. Mary, our Mother, was there. May she help us on this path of memory. The Holy Spirit teaches us, reminds us, and — another aspect — lets us speak, with God and with men. There are no muted Christians, mute of soul; no, there’s no place for this.”

–Pope Francis, Pentecost Sunday homily excerpt, June 8, 2014

 

Monday, May 25 ~ Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church

 

Holy Gospel: Mark 10:17-27  As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, 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 one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”

 

Meditation: When Jesus challenged the man to make God his one true possession and treasure, he became dismayed.  Why did he go away with sadness rather than with joy?  His treasure and his hope for happiness were misplaced. He sought happiness and security in what he possessed rather than in who he could love and serve and give himself in undivided devotion. Why should Jesus call his disciples to “sell all” for the treasure of his kingdom? Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. The Lord himself is the greatest treasure we can have. Focusing on the treasures to be gained from God and not on the things of this earth is our greatest joy. Selling all that we have could mean many different things–letting go of attachments, friendships, influences, jobs, entertainments, styles of life–really anything that might stand in the way of our loving and following God first and foremost in our lives.

 

Prayer: O God, who bring light to your Church through the learning of the Priest Saint Bede, mercifully grant that your servants may always be enlightened by his wisdom and helped by his merits. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: What earthly treasures do I possess that captures my heart, my time, my resources?  Do these prevent me from loving God as fully as I can?  If so, what treasures must I “sell” – give up – in order that I may devote my attention and my love to God, who makes all things possible?