Hearts built by God to be attached only to Him

The East of the River Revival was awesome! Indeed, it was powerful, electric

stuff with the Holy Spirit. I was there on Monday night when the revivalist, Deacon

Harold, gave a rousing, inspiring, and insightful talk. The Lord moved some hearts

through him! There were some entertaining moments as well. When the deacon

spoke about the rosary as a weapon and his consists of bullets, he joked that “every

time you pray the rosary, you pop a cap in the devil’s ass!”

The theme of his message was taken from Pope Francis’s, “The Joy of the

Gospel”. He focused on living happiness with joy. With a strong showing of

Assumption parishioners in the congregation, he was preaching to the choir! But, he

gave several examples from today’s world of people who live happiness without joy.

He even used the story of this Sunday’s Gospel as an example: the young man in

Mark 10 who was happy living the commandments, but then felt “sad” when he

couldn’t answer Jesus’s call to give up everything he had to follow Him.

It’s a story to which we can all relate in one way or another. It’s a story about

detaching from the things of the world. The man had many attachments in his life

which we presume are material possessions. In Matthew’s Gospel, he is described as

a “rich young man”. In both Gospel accounts (Mark and Matthew), he couldn’t give

up everything because “he had many possessions”. He was attached to his

possessions and to his wealth which is the danger of both.

People can become attached to them and the power, status, prestige, and

control that they appear to give. But, these attachments don’t bring happiness. In

fact, they can lead to sadness. This is what the young man in the Gospel experienced.

Our hearts are built by God to be attached to Him alone. ONLY when we are free to

attach ourselves to Christ and to follow Him do we find happiness with joy.

In a spiritual way, the story of the young man is the story of your pastor’s

vocation. I heard Jesus’s call to be a priest when I first entered the seminary. Like

the young man, I walked away from the call two years later. I was too attached to my

own dreams, goals, and desires. But, this Gospel story kept coming up in my

prayer…particularly, the word “sad”. When I realized that sadness is the result of not

answering the Lord’s call, I came back to the vocation and have experienced true

happiness, joy, and peace ever since. These are some of the “hundred times more”

fruits Jesus promises in Mark 10:30 for those who follow Him:

“Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up (attachments)… for my

sake and for the sake of gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now…and

eternal life in the age to come”.

–Sincerely in Christ,

Fr Greg