Jesus looked at the man, and his heart went out to him, and he said, “There is still one thing wanting in you; go and sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you will have wealth in heaven; then come and follow me.”
sees accumulated good
focuses on repentant action
a spirited can-opener
strips all yesterdays
keying a locked treasure
denying an eternity
Love is many splendored. Trying to parse it too closely turns into vivisection in search for a soul. Here we simply note that ἀγαπάω (agapō, dearly loved, greatly welcomed) will again show up in reference to the partnered acts of repentance: to love G*D; to love Neighb*r.
The depth of this deep gaze into another does not stop with loving another “as we find them”, but goes, in the words of the songwriter Fred Kaan, to love them “as they may become”.
In this way love is able to not only support, but amend.
Before us we have a loveable person. That is all that is known at this point. Recent Bibles spoil the fun of reading these ancient stories by titling sections. In this way they spoil the action.
We’ve seen people come up to Jesus before—a wild man in the land of the Gerasenes, a leader of a synagogue, a woman to touch his garment. The only difference here is that we are dealing with the ethics of living, rather than the physics of living. In this realm the only thing that can satisfy is a baptismal metanoia or turning around that comes with a shift of focus from accumulation of precious seeds to an extravagant sowing of them.
We are now shocked to learn that a usual marker of success, wealth, is a barrier to going any further than we now are. It is a block to what we may become. If we can read this without the spoiler alert of a heading, it may be a needed shock to whatever our current addiction may be. Now we can again choose a less-traveled road.