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  My Witness

Vol. 13, No. 3, July, 2008

How to Live Forever
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid In this teaching, we will accept the word of God, the Scriptures into our hearts and minds, letting them be light to us. The Scriptures are the inspired word of God which has the power to accomplish what it says, for us. Yes, for us, right here. right now!

The Scripture we are reflecting upon is Wisdom 7:7-11; Mark 10:17-30. Read these passages slowly, prayerfully.

As you read the Scripture, in your heart ask the Holy Spirit to explain to you the mes- sage that the Lord has for you personally. Do not doubt that the Lord Jesus will do this for you, because that is why he came, so that you can get to know and to love Jesus. "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (John 14:25f). Ask the Holy Spirit what you expect from him...something like this: "O Holy Spirit, Jesus said that you would teach me all things and I believe him. Teach me how to put my trust in Jesus, how it is possible to inherit eternal life! To set every fear aside and to put all my trust in Jesus! Teach me to love Jesus with my whole heart, giving him praise and adoration with every breath! Teach me to love my family, to love my neighbors! Thank you, O Holy Spirit."

Did you know that it is possible for each one of us to inherit eternal life? That it is possible for us to live forever? How can this be, we ask! What could we possibly do to merit life forever?

This is the question that the man who runs up to Jesus in chapter 10 of Mark's Gospel is asking Jesus, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Notice that Jesus does not jump in with an answer to his question right away, but rather has a question for him, and for us, to ponder: "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone" (verse 18).

Then Jesus goes on to describe what "being good" means -- it means being faithful to living the ten words of life, the ten commandments:

"You know the commandments: 'Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"

The man answered Jesus: "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth." How does Jesus respond to this man who has just told him that he is good?

"And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me."

The man had great possessions -- his countenance fell -- and he went away, sorrowful, choosing material riches rather than treasure in heaven, rather than relationship with Jesus, a life of following Jesus. Jesus commented: "How hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God."

The disciples who heard Jesus, and we also, are shocked at this -- because a profitable business, high paying job, big car, big home -- these are blessings. We ask, "Who can be saved? And Jesus says, "With men it is impossible, -- but not with God; for all things are possible with God."

We reflect also on the Book of Wisdom, chapter 7, verses 7-9:

"Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her. Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her."

Closing prayer: Thank you, Spirit of love, for teaching me to put my trust in the Lord, who is the source of my life. Continue to teach me about living the new life of God's love poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us! Now the prayer to Mary: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen!"

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