The Lord’s Calling Us in Mercy to Embrace the Pearl of Great Price, Eighth Monday (I), May 25, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Visitation Convent of the Sisters of Life, New York
Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of St. Bede, Doctor of the Church
May 25, 2015
Sir 17:20-24, Ps 32, Mt 10:17-27


To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below: 


The following points were attempted in today’s homily: 

  • The importance of the Holy Spirit in our responding to our vocation of being called in mercy to embrace the treasure of God.
  • The story of the Rich Young Man. God’s goodness. Love of God shown in love of neighbor. Jesus’ look of love. We lack paradoxically when we have too much. Letting go of what we have to purchase the Pearl of Great Price, letting go of earthly treasure for a heavenly one. Why wealth is such an obstacle to entering Christ’s kingdom. The Rich Young Man needed the Holy Spirit’s gifts of wisdom to see things as they really are, as God sees them; counsel, to order his choices toward that wisdom; and courage, to overcome his fears in doing so and placing his security in God rather than in his things.
  • All of us have been like the Rich Young Man in not totally responding to God’s call, not putting everything at his service. That’s why today’s first reading and Psalm are so important, showing us that God gives us another chance. He looks at us with loving mercy and calls us to himself anew.
  • That God calls us when he looks at us with loving mercy was a great theme of St. Bede the Venerable whom we celebrate today. His words about the calling of St. Matthew, that God called him in the very act of forgiving him, is what’s behind Pope Francis’ motto Miserando atque Eligendo, and is part of the Pope’s vocational story. He was able to follow the Lord Jesus as the Rich Young Man wasn’t because he had the experience of the Lord’s loving glance together with mercy, so that he could see how he needed to let go of everything else and seize that mercy and share it. He saw that God was there first, the experience of what he calls primerear.
  • Today the Lord has come here. He looks at us with merciful love. He wants to give us himself as the pearl of great price. And he wants to send us the Holy Spirit anew to help us to choose him and to spend our whole life loving him through loving others as the path to having a great treasure in heaven.

Reading 1 SIR 17:20-24

To the penitent God provides a way back,
he encourages those who are losing hope
and has chosen for them the lot of truth.
Return to him and give up sin,
pray to the LORD and make your offenses few.
Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin,
hate intensely what he loathes,
and know the justice and judgments of God,
Stand firm in the way set before you,
in prayer to the Most High God.Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High
in place of the living who offer their praise?
Dwell no longer in the error of the ungodly,
but offer your praise before death.
No more can the dead give praise
than those who have never lived;
You who are alive and well
shall praise and glorify God in his mercies.
How great the mercy of the LORD,
his forgiveness of those who return to him!

Responsorial Psalm PS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (11a) Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.

Alleluia 2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”

He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”