I often wonder what happened to the young man. As he got older did he eventually accept the invitation? I ask this question because I assume he spent some time in reflection after he walked away from Jesus. The young man admitted to having observed all the commandments from his youth so he apparently had a desire to do what was right. Would this one additional challenge keep him from growing any further in his journey toward holiness?
“Jesus looked at him and loved him.” I can only imagine the impact of receiving such a profound glance from the Savior. The penetrating eyes of Jesus must have surely struck at the depths of the young man’s heart. Would that look eventually bring him back?
Scripture demonstrates a variety of responses from people who received a prominent glance of love from our Lord. This young man walked away. Judas Iscariot experienced deep despair and went out and hanged himself. Peter accepted the look of Jesus, proclaimed his love three times, and became the “Rock” upon which the Church was built. Thus, when Jesus looks at us and loves us, we each have the free will to respond in our own unique way. We may experience this look in our prayer life, our worship, our joys, and in our pains and hurts as well. How often do we miss this look of love? In those times when we capture the look and experience the impact deep within our being, how do we respond?
Knowing we are loved by God to such depths should fill our hearts with joy. Let us live as people of hope!