1 Peter 1:3-9
Mark 10:17-27


Today’s reading from the First Letter of St Peter assures us of the gift of salvation through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This is a wonderful consolation for us in the midst of the trials of this world: most of all for those who suffer directly from war, disease, famine and civil strife, and, to a much lesser extent, for those in fortunate countries like Australia who struggle to come to terms with the constant news of tragedy and violence.  The Psalm reminds us of God’s constant love and deliverance: ‘the Lord will remember his covenant for ever’.  The Lord is always with us, in any and all circumstances, he sustains us and ‘gives food to those who fear him’.  These are wonderful messages of consolation, but today’s Gospel reminds us that God’s Word also asks of us dedication to love of God and neighbour, in word and action.   This dedication is shown, in the first place, through obedience to the Ten Commandments, that great touchstone of right action.  But more than this, it asks for all we can give, it asks for our heart.  For the rich man in today’s Gospel, this was about his great wealth, and to this day, money – a form of power – competes with love of God and neighbour.  But for each of us this call to give our heart will be an individual one: what stands in the way of a true dedication to the love of God and neighbour in my own life?

Robert Gascoigne is a parishioner at St Brigid’s, Marrickville.  He is a theologian who taught for many years at the Australian Catholic University.