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Monday, May 26, 1997

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St. Philip Neri

Sirach 17:19-27
Psalm 32
Mark 10:17-27

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"i do!" or "i do..."?

"Teacher, what must I do?" —Mark 10:17

The rich young man was what we call today a "can-do" individual. He was always doing something. First, he ran up to Jesus and knelt before Him. He then asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to share in everlasting life?" Jesus, recognizing the man's mindset, accordingly gave him a list of things to do: the commandments. The young man's response was another action-oriented one: " 'I have kept all these' (Mk 10:20). Check those off of my to-do list." Jesus continued to meet the man right where he was, saying, "There is one thing more you must do" (Mk 10:21). Jesus gave him exactly the answer he wanted — something he could do to gain eternal life — but "the man went away sad" (Mk 10:22).

If we base our relationship with Jesus on what we do, then so will Jesus. Remember, Jesus Himself said: "The measure with which you measure will be used to measure you" (Mt 7:2). There will always be one thing more we must do, and "for man it is impossible" (Mk 10:27). When we give our lives to Jesus in loving service, we in effect marry Him. We say, "I do," as would a bride and groom. Now, our value comes from being in Christ, and we focus on loving and serving Him rather than on impressing Him. He continues to meet us where we are — only now we are in Him, and all is brought to perfection in Him.

You'll eventually be saying "I do" to Jesus. Which meaning will you choose — marriage or merit?

Prayer:  Jesus, Lord, Savior, God, I DO!

Promise:  "Return to the Lord and give up sin, pray to Him and make your offenses few." —Sir 17:20

Praise:  Philip began the evangelization of Rome by focusing his efforts on evangelizing youth. His youth ministry blossomed as he involved young people in ministry to the sick, prayer in the cathedrals, picnics, jokes, and Scripture.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996