[Reflections on the Gospel reading set for Morning Prayer today.]
On one occasion, a desperate man asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Eternal life refers to the quality of experiencing all the fullness and goodness of life, life already given but not necessarily experienced.
To inherit expresses the difference between a child (heir), who only partially benefits, and an adult, who has been given greater responsibility and freedom.
The question, essentially, is this: how can I enter-into a fuller experience of the life I already have?
It transpires that wealth and power have not proved to fulfil that longing – hence his despair.
Jesus replied, “You lack only one thing: [Let go of being in control of your life, and] follow me.”
The man was shocked and went away grieving, because he could not bring himself to receive the only answer “Follow me”...