Summary: Dump all the stuff that gets in the way of your relationship with Jesus and His people.

The mysteries of life exist on the boundaries between the infinite goodness and power of God and the reality of human weakness of will and intellect. People ask God, “why did you do that to me?” when the real miracles of God involve His preventing bad things from happening to us.

Take the lesson from Ezekiel’s life given here. This is one of the saddest passages in all of Scripture. I’m glad I don’t have to read it any more because it reminds me of how much I depend on my own wife, and how much grief I have shared over the years ministering to others who have lost a spouse. But nothing happens here that should surprise us. If Ezekiel’s wife hadn’t died that night of prophecy, she would have died later. The death of a loved one may be a horrible sadness, even a disaster, but it’s a tragedy only when some moral fault brings it on. We can all mourn the loss of a friend or relative, but regret, when we have contributed to the death or, worse, have not witnessed the Gospel to that person before he died is far worse.

Look carefully at the Gospel. Mark, writing later for his Church, adds the words “Jesus looked on him and loved him.” And He told him the secret of life: dump all the stuff that stands in the way of your relationship to me, give it to stop the tragedy of poverty, and follow me in the way of joyful discipleship.

The tragedy is that the young man considered his “stuff” to be more important than following Jesus. Especially in this time of economic trouble, we should ask ourselves the critical question, “is my stuff getting in the way of following Jesus?” “If I off-loaded some of this stuff to St. Vincent de Paul Society, would it hurt me and help them?” I’m not talking about closet space in your home. I’m talking about the space you have surrounding your heart and soul for relationship with the Lord. The less you have, the less you have to worry about.

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