October 11, 2006

the rich young man

i have this great book which is a collection of writings, art and photographs about Jesus while He walked the earth. it's called "He Touched Them" (a slightly different version is found here in Amazon). (the treasures you find in secondhand book stores! i was drawn to it as soon as my eyes caught the title.)

the following excerpt was taken from Francois Mauriac's "The Life of Jesus". i believe this is an example of "consecrated imagination" or something like that, where the writer embellishes the Biblical account, which may or may not be true but can be respected as "an educated guess". :)

For the complete account about the rich young man, go here.

"Jesus looked on him and loved him."
After having looked at him...a certain expression touched the Son of Man, the grace of a young person, the light in his eyes which came from the soul. He loved him therefore, and like a God to whom all are subject, without preparation, almost brutally, He said:
"One thing is lacking to thee: go, sell all thou hast and give to the poor --- and thou shalt have treasure in heaven --- and come, follow Me."
If Jesus had not loved him . . . no doubt He would have granted this young man the strength to leave all, as others had done. He would have submitted him to all-powerful grace. But love does not wish to obtain anything from him who is loved, unless it be freely given. He loved this stranger too much to capture him by force. From him the Son of Man hoped for a spontaneous movement of the heart. "But his face fell at the saying, and he departed grieved, for he had great possessions."
He was swallowed up in a crowd and with His eyes Jesus followed him far beyond space, into the depths of time, from misery to misery. For those whom Christ calls and who turn away, fall, lift themselves up, drag themselves about with eyes full of heavenly light, but with their garments stained, their hands torn and bleeding.
The sorrow which Jesus felt betrayed itself in the vehemence of [words] against the rich, which fell almost immediately from His lips. "With what difficulty shall they that have riches enter the kingdom of God...easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle."
Who, then, can be saved? Torturing thought for the saints themselves. His friends' sadness touched Jesus. Because He was the Son of God, the Author of life, He was going to destroy with one word all that He had said (perhaps He also saw in spirit that final moment when the young being who was turning away would come back to Him of His own accord). "With men it is impossible...all things are possible with God." Even to save as many rich men as He pleased to save, even to bring back those creatures who have fallen the lowest, to take them by force, to gather to Himself a soul, still begrimed, from the lips of a dying man. All things are possible with God; this is literally true as all the other words of the Lord. All! He had already said: "I will draw all men to Myself!" O, divine and hidden stratagem of that mercy which knows no control nor limit! All things are possible with God.

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