Since the Vatican opened the canonization process of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, I started to study the life of this soon-to-be-saint. He was a French aristocrat and religious figure whose work and writings resulted in the establishment of the Congregation of the Little Brothers of Jesus. He lived a life of prayer, meditation, and adoration, in the incessant desire to be, for each person, a “universal brother”, a living image of the love of Jesus. He is set to be canonized this coming May 15, 2022. His story inspires me, particularly in discerning whether to enter the seminary or not. Prior to entering the seminary, I was hesitant about whether I could surrender and give up everything in my quest to follow Jesus. There were many choices, opportunities, and privileges that I surrendered and abandoned in order to pursue the priestly vocation.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is surprised by a young man’s deep and sincere desire. Jesus tells him to sell all his belongings, give the money to the poor, and then come and follow Him. However, when the man begins to comprehend what Jesus is saying, he is saddened. He wants to follow Jesus, but is surprised by what following demands—he must give away all his belongings and leave his family and his friends behind.
The Gospel today challenges us to continue to die to oneself. We must be ready to give up everything we have in order to follow Jesus. At times, the cost of following Jesus may be too high for us. We must be open to letting go of our seeming security and trust that Jesus will provide for us. May we be inspired by the Prayer of Abandonment, written by Blessed Charles de Foucauld:
Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father. Amen.
By: Sem. Arjay Ligamzon
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.”