"The young man said to him, "All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:20-26)The "gift of self" is a beautiful phrase, used often by Blessed John Paul II, to describe our ultimate calling as men and women. But standing in awe of beautiful phrases is quite easy compared to actually living those words each day. Our Lord calls each of His disciples to a spirit of detachment and one might say that its severity varies contingent on the vocation of the one he has called. Yet, though those called to the supernatural vocations will physically detach themselves from more material items, all are called to loosen their hold on whatever they believe is their own, including comfort, time and security.
It is a natural inclination to seek one's comfort, to relish the precious moments of serenity afforded to him on a given day. But perhaps there are occasions when those times are not readily available; does one grasp for them then? Pushing aside others' needs to seek out his own? Or does he accept that his gift of self, was a total and continuous gift, a daily denial not just a romantic notion. When Christ said, "leave all that you have and follow me," He did not promise that there would be rest stops at specific intervals along the way. Why? Because we carry with us that which sustains:
". . . whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."When we offer up our days to the Lord, we also recognize that He directs the happenings of the day: more or less he may ask of us, but always to follow Him, to abandon ourselves to Him in each moment as Our Lady and St. Joseph did from even before the time He was born. May we follow their example of abandonment and detachment, seeking only to attach ourselves to that which leads us to true happiness in heaven.