What Matters Most?

A reading for Thursday, April 2, 2020: Mark 10:17-31

Does Jesus have compassion for the rich? In today's story, Jesus has an encounter with a rich man. Not only is he rich, he apparently believes he can manipulate Jesus by calling him "good teacher" and setting Jesus up to prove himself and to others that he is better than all the others.

Jesus is not fooled, but seems to see through the man's success and wealth. He knows that the man suffers from a lack of compassion. The rich man grieves when Jesus asks him to show the same compassion that Jesus himself shows to him. The text says, "Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said..." It's clear that Jesus is not judging the rich man but noticing that he suffers because his wealth has created distance between the man and God's Kingdom. Or said another way, the rich man is less than the way God sees the purpose of his life.

Suddenly in America and across the globe, the wealth we thought we had has changed. We won't have the year in business we thought we were going to have. Our retirement accounts will surely come back, but right now it's a little scary to compare them even to January of this year. Almost 7 million people filed for unemployment in the latest news release. It's a stressful time, not just for the rich, but for all of us.

It's moments like this when perhaps we find the compassion that Jesus has when helping those that have depended too heavily on wealth to find happiness. Life isn't about just about wealth, and it's moments and the days we are living through that demonstrate to us, sometimes even with lots of grief, that other things matter much more.

Say a prayer today for all those that are worried about wealth. Say a prayer of compassion for those that have lost the financial security they thought they had. Say a prayer that Jesus might show us again what matters most...


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