Who Then Can Be Saved? (Mt 19)
Matthew’s 19th chapter sets the stage for the Coming Kingdom. The first half paints God’s picture of marriage –how Two Souls consecrating themselves for the Other, become melded as One; how this Unity of Love points to our destiny in God; and how children, the fruit of Espoused Union, are the precious embodiment Love’s Offspring, of the New Life which awaits all who give themselves to the Name Above All Names.
The second half of chapter 19 illuminates the path to this Mystical Union. It wets our appetite for what is universally repugnant –the Renunciation of Self. Matthew begins with Jesus’ encounter with the Rich Young Man who asks, 'Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?' When Jesus said, 'If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me' the young man went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus then solemnly tells his disciples '… it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.' With wealth as the insurance of our dreams, our path can only lead away from Christ.
Bewildered, the disciples ask, 'Who then, can be saved?' It was a rhetorical question. They were not asking as though seeking Truth, but as knowing the answer. Since wealth was considered a sign of God’s favor; and because the rich young man was leading an exemplary life, the answer must surely be that no one can be saved.
Their expectation was kind of right, but totally wrong. Yes, without a Savior, there is no hope of salvation. Yet, all mankind was predestined to know the Eternal Love of its Creator. In this revolutionary moment, Christ pierces the Darkened Mind of Man with the Light of His Truth -He reveals Hope for our Salvation.
Matthew says “Jesus gazed at them.” He lovingly looked into their troubled souls and gave them that Anchor of Hope when he said, 'For men, this is impossible; for God everything is possible.' In the end, the Love of our Father will conquer Sin. All that is required is to renounce the transitory love of our Self for the Eternal Love of God. But as great a deal as it must have seemed, even greater still must have been the disciples gloom, for they knew well the Weakness of Man.
Even though they had the assurance of Christ’s Promise, they would not reap the Repose of its Restful Waters until after Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Pentecost. Only then, could they take hold of Hope, and have the Power to live in its Promise. The Blood of the Cross, the Hope of Resurrection, and the Power of the Holy Spirit broke the chains of sin which condemned us to the worship of Self over God.
This is the Mystery of Grace, that in choosing Christ, the fear, of losing our all, dissolves into the infilling of his Love. In giving away what we possess, we become possessed by the Giver of All. As we surrender our Old Self into his Love, we are freed into New Life. Even now, Jesus is gazing into our eyes, beckoning us to lose ourselves into his Spousal Love –to live for him, in him and with him.Lord Jesus, what I have possessed has often possessed me, blinding me to Life in Love with you. Do not allow me to be deceived by my selfish dreams, but open my eyes to your Truth, to your Dream for me. Do not let me walk away sad, but empower me with your Holy Spirit to desire only what you desire for me, that I may run to do the Will of our Father, that I may know the Joy of your Spousal Love.