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Archive for December 10th, 2019


Mark 10:17-31: Being Last

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The rich man asks Jesus how he can gain admission to heaven.  Jesus answers plainly: Put aside all that you have . . . and follow me.  How simple.  How difficult.

Jesus calls each of us to put away all that enthralls us . . . for love of him.  This means that we put aside all that secures our identity, all that maintains our confidence . . . and trust solely in him.  This means that we learn to live in liminal space . . . because that is where heaven is.

Test me, O Lord, and try me; examine my heart and my mind.

For your love is before my eyes; I have walked faithfully with you.

I have not sat with the worthless, nor do I consort with the deceitful.

I have hated the company of evildoers; I will not sit down with the wicked.

I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord; that I may go in procession round your altar;

Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving and recounting all your wonderful deeds.

                                                                                          Psalm 26:2-7

I have learned an important lesson and have lately felt its echo come back to me as it reverberates through a lifetime.  Of our own will we can do nothing.  We best acknowledge this by letting go of all that secures us to life.  We best experience this by falling backward over what appears to be a precipice.  In the letting go of familiarity . . . in the floating . . . we feel God’s presence.  This is what happens when we put God first.  This is what we feel when we put ourselves last.

Jesus says:  It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle that it is for a rich man to enter heaven. 

And we reply:  But where are we to go?  What are we do?  How will we live?  Surely we will die!  We are only human!

And Jesus replies: With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God. 

Do we trust our maker to catch us when we fall?  Do we understand that his love is greater than all else?  Can we put God first . . . and ourselves last?

Test me, O Lord, and try me; examine my heart and my mind.  For your love is before my eyes; I have walked faithfully with you . . .

Let us go in procession around the Lord’s altar . . . Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving and recounting all [God’s] wonderful deeds . . . and let us trust him who loves us . . . him for whom all things are possible.  Let us be willing to go last in the altar procession as we sing our altar song.

Test me, O Lord, and try me; examine my heart and my mind.  For your love is before my eyes; I have walked faithfully with you . . .


First written on November 15, 2008.  Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

To better understand our call to “fall” into Christ, please see: Rohr, Richard. FALLING UPWARD: A SPIRITUALITY FOR THE TWO HALVES OF LIFE. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.  (Rohr 65)

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