Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Gaze of Love That Makes All Things Possible

I call this "21st Century Still Life."
Anyway, these are my riches, haha!
Jesus looked upon the rich young man, and loved him (see Mark 10:21). Then Jesus told him to sell all his riches, and follow Him.

If only the rich young man had not “turned away, sad, because he had many possessions.” If only he had cried out to Jesus: “Lord, how am I going to do that? I really like all of my nice stuff! How?!” That would have been the beginning of everything for him.

Jesus could have worked miracles out of that “how?”

Even a frustrated, confused, angry “how?”—as long as it is a real question and not a put-off or a self justification—carries within it a glimmer of awareness that Jesus is worth giving up whatever He is asking of me, or bearing whatever burden He has laid upon me.

I want to stay with you, Jesus. How? Help! I do not want to turn away from the face that “looks upon me and loves me.”

Of course, we do not know what happened in the end to the rich young man. Maybe he forgot about Jesus and joined the Pharisee party—after all, they claimed to love the commandments that he kept, and he only had to sell ten percent of his stuff and could still impress everybody by dumping sacks of money into the temple treasury.

Or, maybe one day he remembered the face of Jesus, and that look of love, and went out again in search of Him. How could he forget it? Jesus's “look of love” corresponded to the reason for which he was made. It corresponds to God’s gaze within the depths of the hearts of each one of us, which stirs us to enter into the dialogue of prayer, and which is the quiet light and gentle flame of the vocation to eternal glory given to each of us.

The rich man had turned away from Jesus, but Jesus had not turned away from him. “With God all things are possible,” Jesus told His disciples.

Maybe the rich man remembered the face of Jesus. And maybe he found Jesus again, later—during those wondrous days in Jerusalem after Pentecost. Maybe He experienced Jesus's loving gaze again, in the faces of His disciples.