God calls everyone

The Gospel of the Mass tells us that Jesus was leaving one city and going on his way to another place, when a young man came running and stopped before the Lord. The three Evangelists who relate the event tell us that he was of good social standing. He knelt at the feet of Christ, and asked him a fundamental question for every man: "Master," he says, "what must I do to obtain eternal life? Jesus is standing, surrounded by his disciples, who contemplate the scene; the young man, on his knees. It is an open dialogue, in which the Lord begins by giving him a general answer: Keep the commandments. And he lists them: you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal.... He replied: Master, I have kept all these from my youth.... What do I still lack," says St. Matthew. This is the question we have all asked ourselves at some time in the face of the intimate disenchantment of things that are good but do not fill the heart, and in the face of life that goes by without quenching that hidden thirst that is not quenched. And Christ has a personal answer for each one, the only valid answer.

Jesus knew that in the heart of that young man there was a depth of generosity, a great capacity for self-giving. That is why he looked at him with pleasure, with a love of predilection, and invited him to follow him without any condition, with no strings attached. He stared at him, as only Christ knows how to look, to the depths of the soul. "He looks with love on every man. The Gospel confirms this at every step. It can also be said that in this "loving gaze" of Christ is contained almost as a summary and synthesis of all the Good News (...). Man needs this "loving gaze"; he needs to know that he is loved, that he is loved eternally and that he has been chosen from all eternity (cf. Eph 1:4). At the same time, this eternal love of divine election accompanies man throughout his life like the loving gaze of Christ". This is how the Lord sees us now and always, with a deep love of predilection.

The Master, with a voice that would have a particular intonation, said to him: "You still lack only one thing. With what expectation that young man awaited the Master's answer! It was, undoubtedly, the most important thing he was going to hear in all his life. Go, sell what you have and give it to the poor? Then come and follow me. It was an invitation to give himself entirely to the Lord. The young man did not expect this. God's plans do not always coincide with ours, with those we have forged in our imagination, in our reveries. God's plans, in one way or another, always involve detachment from everything that binds us. To follow Christ we need to have a free soul. The many riches of this young man were the great obstacle to accept the request of Jesus, the greatest thing that happened in his life.

God calls everyone: the healthy and the sick, people with great qualities and those of modest ability, those who have riches and those who suffer hardship, the young, the old and the elderly. Every man and woman must know how to discover the particular path to which God calls him or her. And he calls us all to holiness, to generosity, to detachment, to self-giving; he says to all of us within ourselves: come and follow me. There is no room for mediocrity in the face of Christ's invitation; He does not want disciples of "half-surrender", with conditions.

This young man suddenly sees his vocation: the call to full surrender. His encounter with Jesus reveals to him the meaning and the fundamental task of his life. And before him his true availability is revealed. He had believed that he was doing God's will because he was fulfilling the commandments of the Law. When Christ puts before him a complete surrender, one discovers how much he is attached to his own things and how little he loves the will of God. This scene is also repeated today. "You tell me about this friend of yours, who attends the sacraments, who is clean-living and a good student. -But he doesn't "fit in": if you talk to him about sacrifice and apostolate, he gets sad and leaves you.

"Don't worry. -It is not a failure of your zeal: it is, to the letter, the scene narrated by the Evangelist: "if you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor" (sacrifice).... "and then come and follow me" (apostolate).

"The adolescent "abiit tristis" - he also withdrew saddened: he did not want to correspond to grace". He left full of sadness, because joy is only possible when there is generosity and detachment. Then life is filled with joy in that absolute availability before the will of God that manifests itself every day in small things and in very precise moments of our life. Let us ask the Lord today to help us with his grace so that, at all times, he can effectively count on us for whatever he wants, without conditions or strings attached. "Lord, I have no other aim in life than to seek you, to love you and to serve you..... All the other objectives of my existence are directed to this. I want nothing to separate me from you," we say to Him in this dialogue with Him.