Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson, was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. In this strip, Calvin wants what we all have desired at some point: to have a sizable inheritance in order to live out the rest of our days care free. We wouldn’t have to work, we wouldn’t have to worry, and we know from today’s first reading that God provides this for us.
Our heavenly Father has furnished us with an inheritance, but one of more value than anything else imaginable (Psalm 111:6). We are not rich in gold or jewels, stocks or bonds, but we do have a wealth through Christ that is so much greater: our inheritance of the faith (1 Peter 1:7). We can and should have security in our “treasure in heaven” (Mk 10:21).
However, Jesus cautions us in the Gospel that we cannot rely on our wealth to get us to heaven (Mk 10:24): “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” But, if our inheritance through Christ is so much greater than any material wealth, then how much harder will it be for us believers to enter the Kingdom?
The question may sound a little strange, but I think about how easy it is for me to rely or fall back on the faith I’ve had from childhood. I am so unbelievably wealthy in the “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4) faith tradition I have received from my parents, my grandparents, and the 2,000 years of Catholics who have gone before me. Often, though, I expect that basic faith I’ve already received to be enough; I do nothing to grow it, nothing to challenge it, sometimes nothing to even merely maintain it. I have become lazy in my inheritance.
Nevertheless, I am striving to truly take Jesus’s “Follow me” (Mk 10:21) to heart. I can no longer bank on the faith I’ve received from others, but I must act on it myself.