Just one more thing . . . Print
Live Greater
Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 -- 12:00 AM

Live Greater by Jon Leonetti

Picture it. The rich man encountering Jesus Christ. Face to face. As they look into each others' eyes. People hear the commotion, inching closer. Can you feel the tension? The rich man, feeling quite well about himself, I am sure, asking Jesus if there is more.

"You follow the commandments, you say? You are a good person, you say? That's great. But it's not enough . . .

"Give it all. I mean everything. Quit holding back. Stop waiting for someone else to do it for you. What is stopping you? You have already gone this far in your faith. Sure, it's not going to be easy. What I ask never is. If you want easy, than you are looking in the wrong place. But you know you don't want easy. You have come too far to quit now. It's just one more thing. Too much you say? No. It's not too much. Do you know what I have in store for you in my Father's kingdom?

"Why are you walking away disappointed? This is a joyous moment in your life. A moment where you have been given the key to your salvation! It's so difficult for you to enter with so much wealth. Do you not understand? I want your heart to be free. I desire to give you my Father's house."

These words, not verbatim Gospel text of course, are my prayer. These are the words that I imagine my Lord saying to me. And, we all know, these words are not easy words for any of us to hear. I mean, quite frankly, that Sunday Gospel, our Lord is calling us out. You're not "rich" you say? Who cares? Christ makes his point very clear.

But . . . But . . . No buts. No excuses. Simply speaking, our Lord is asking us to put away what is separating us from Him. I have said and heard many excuses over the years: It's not convenient . . . I'll wait until I'm old . . . The road is too difficult . . . etc. Like the rich man, our Lord too stares in our eyes, loving us with that same love, whispering . . . ever so sweetly . . . ever so lovingly . . . get over yourself!

I know, I know, not the most charitable example of what our Lord is saying to each of us. Nonetheless, our Lord is calling us to give of ourselves, entirely. He is calling us to no longer live with the vision of this world, living now with a renewed vision, one that looks to eternity. There may be tension; there may be commotion. Whatever the case, with a free and virtuous heart, we will pass through that "narrow gate."

This week, whether it be in our schools, homes, or workplaces, let us ask the Lord for an empty heart. A heart completely emptied from the riches of the world. Then, and only then, will we fit through that narrow gate to eternal life.

Jon Leonetti, co-founder of Souly Walking, is a Catholic evangelist/radio host who, for the faith, WALKED across the country (beginning in Los Angeles, ending in New Jersey). On his journey, he spoke at churches, schools, and youth gatherings encouraging young people to turn their hearts and minds away from the empty promises of the MTV/Hollywood mentality and to focus on Jesus Christ. Leonetti is continuing his ministry through speaking at conferences, schools, and parishes across the country about his cause and journey. You can visit his Web site: www.VoiceForTheTurn.com