Pope St. Pius X
Judges 2:11-19 + Matthew 19:16-22
August 21, 2017
“‘Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?’”
The young man in today’s Gospel Reading knows that something more is needed. He’s very confident that he has observed the commandments, but knows that he still lacks something for the gaining of eternal life. Jesus’ response aims for Heaven: “to be perfect”, the young man must sell what he has in order to give to the poor, and then he must follow Jesus.
It would not be accurate to take today’s passage as a proof that every Christian must abandon all his or her possessions. Jesus was speaking on this occasion to an individual. Individual members of the Body of Christ have different vocations, and are called in different ways.
What every Christian vocation does have in common with every other is to seek “to be perfect”. In fact, Jesus commands us elsewhere to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. That might seem an impossibly lofty goal, were we not to understand the meaning of the word “perfect”. From the Latin, it could be loosely translated as “to become what one is”, or in other words, “to become what one is meant to be”. God “designed” each human person, and calls each human person, to spend himself in love for others, and above all, for God Himself as the ineffable Other. However God may ask you to accomplish this, give thanks for His call.