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31st Week After Pentecost v Thursday 


   James 1:19-27   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be
swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man
worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness
and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted
word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and
not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of
the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural
face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and
straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into
the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a
forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in
his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not
his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit
the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself
unspotted from the world.


   Mark 10:17-27   And when he was gone forth into the way, there came
one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall
I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why
callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou
knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not
steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and
mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I
observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said
unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast,
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come,
take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and
went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round
about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have
riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished
at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children,
how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom
of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than
for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were
astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be
saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but
not with God: for with God all things are possible.


  We just recently read about the  ruler who asked ?W hat shall I do
that I may inherit eternal life?¦. The same story, as recounted in St
Luke, was appointed for the 30th Sunday after Pentecost, Dec 10/23 2007
(Luke 18:18-27). 


  The accounts in the gospels are almost identical, except for one
striking addition the Evangelist Mark makes: ? Then Jesus beholding him
loved him,  and said unto him, One thing thou lackest ...¦. St Luke
omits this parenthetical statement: ?Then Jesus beholding him loved


  The Evangelist Mark makes a point to tell us that our Lord spoke to
the man out of love. His words seemed harsh to the rich young ruler, and
he did not receive them as spoken in love. Some words from the Lord are
like that for us. All of them are spoken in love, but we are not able to
receive them as such because of our attachments, false priorities and
excuses. How different might our reception if these words be if we truly
believed that all that the Lord does for us, and says to us is perfect,
and is the only was that we will find peace? All is spoken because of


  In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan, that is our Lord
Jesus Christ, dressed the wounds of the wounded man with oil and wine.
Oil represents words and actions of the Lord that soothe and comfort us.
We receive such things readily. Wine represents the words and actions of
our Lord that are sometimes astringent and bitter to us, but absolutely
necessary for our healing. Wine is actually an antiseptic, and useful
for debriding  a wound, so that it may be clean, and heal. 


  Our Lord was pouring wine on the fetid wound of the young ruler. He
perceived that the man was addicted to his wealth, and it was as a
millstone that would drag him down to Hell. Out of love, He told the man
what he must do. The young man went away sorrowing.