a sad state of affairs
"Hearing these words, the young man went away sad." —Matthew 19:22
The Lord commanded Ezekiel not to mourn the death of his wife. By this unusual conduct, the Lord pointed out that His people should be grieving their sins, exile, and devastation (Ez 24:24; see also Ez 9:4). It's a sin not to be sad about our sins.
A young, rich man asked Jesus: "Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life?" (Mt 19:16) Jesus told him to keep the commandments (Mt 19:17), sell his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, and become His disciple (Mt 19:21). "The young man went away sad, for his possessions were many" (Mt 19:22). It's a sin to be sad about the invitation and necessity to commit our whole lives to the Lord.
We must be sad about our sins so that we will repent and not be sad in the everlasting selfishness of hell. Paul said: "If I saddened you by my letter I have no regrets...because your sadness led to repentance" (2 Cor 7:8, 9). So be sad briefly in this life, and you will never be sad after this life on earth. The right kind of sadness now means perfect happiness forever. Be sad.
Prayer: Father, give me a love which will fill me with holy sadness and gladness.
Promise: "Go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven." —Mt 19:21
Praise: St. John was a gifted confessor and successfully led many sinners to repentance and holiness. He had a special anointing in leading people to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape, Prophetic Poverty, on audio AV 72-1 or video V-72.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002