True happiness is not valued by power given to us in accordance to our status, nor is it judged by how much wealth we possess. However, it is evaluated by the heart that wills to give everything to others to follow Jesus, without measurement and calculation.
In the Gospel of Mark this Sunday past (10:17-27), we encounter the rich young man who came to Jesus and asked: “Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Surely, this man was seeking the meaning of life. He did not find peace and glee though he had a vast possession. Wealth was not able to fulfil his heart’s desire. Therefore he wanted to find what would bring him lasting happiness – that is eternal life.
Jesus gave him the answer but that young man found it too difficult. Instead of accepting Jesus’ invitation, he went away sad because he was unable to give up his wealth. Instead of giving up his wealth to follow Jesus, he gave up Jesus to hold on to his wealth.
The story of the young man can be ours. Just like the young man, it is very easy for us to say: I know Jesus, I love him and I follow him. However, when facing a conflict between life and faith, having to choose between God and worldly values, sometimes we flinch and some have abandoned God because of worldly values and pleasures.
Through God’s Word, may we have the wisdom to use our wealth well so that material things may not blind us, and that the first and best choice we make would be choosing Jesus because only he can give us true happiness and lead us to eternal life!
Fr Tang Phan