Year B - Pentecost +20 or Energy to Witness 20
October 11, 2015
“Eternal life” is a general marker for what it is we most desire at the moment. We tie our desires to eternity and that ups the ante regarding our prayers (usually at least one step removed from actually being responsible for living well).
If we can name our “eternal life” picture it will help us remove it from a locus of obsession and return to everyday issues. Here the everyday is noted to be related to particular extensions of what we know as a Golden Rule variously expressed.
If there is still some sense of something lacking (assurance) it seems we need to spend more time in contemplative/meditative play until we can sense Jesus, G*D, some Beyond, looking at us and loving us through our compulsion to have it all. At stake here is an ability to recognize and give up our privileged view point.
Here the man who wants it all has to bump up against his desire to get what he wants without it costing anything. Here it is not so much a matter of his possessions but what it was that was possessing him. He is obviously invested in whatever level of privilege he has. This is not mere speculative privilege but what his community had drummed into his dear little ear as to where real life is lived—in possessions. It is then difficult to have an understanding that we all have to “serve somebody”.
Being rich is not an ultimate game-over. Moving ahead is possible, but it is not based on what you can or cannot do. There is a different measuring rod than simply possessing, whether that is little or much.
When the question is asked about “who can be saved?”, it is important to retranslate that to, “who can be generous?” Generosity is a natural antidote to the greed of privilege.
Even when translated thus, Peter speaks up for all of us to claim that Jesus owes us for everything transactional giving-up we have done in expectation of being rewarded for our sacrifice. This sense of being owed is 180° from living “good news”.
Since there is no way to finally say what a first/last koan might mean across the board, we will have to settle for having conversations about what we are still hanging on to that we are owed and expressing the good news we have experienced through a reception of deep assurance and bounteous generosity.
May you not sorrow away, joyfully receive the sisters and brothers of every stripe and color now available to you.