I have been really enjoying this Sacred Text Sunday series. It has been a pleasure to learn from the holy texts shared so far by my friends from different faith traditions. It has also been wonderful to recognize the way the passages they have chosen to share are so often reflected in the way I have seen them act in the community. A perfect example of this comes in today’s text shared by Robert Bruttell, Vice-Chairman of the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metro Detroit, board member for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, adjunct professor of Religious Studies and History at the University of Detroit Mercy and all around good guy!

Bob has been instrumental in helping me become involved in the interfaith work going on in Metro Detroit and is known far and wide for his tireless work to improve the lives of those in our area. The passage he shared with me comes from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Matthew 19:16-22

“And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Here is what Bob had to say about this parable:

“I often say that Christianity is a very demanding ethic. We Christians – in my case a Catholic one – go through the motions thinking that it is enough to not murder and not knowingly steal, etc. But Jesus, in the parable of the rich young man, tells us that there is much more to it. Following the commandments is not enough. A follower of Jesus Christ is asked to sell all she/he has and give the proceeds to the poor. That parable combined as well with the Sermon on the Mount tell us that we are to give completely of ourselves and all we own. It is a very demanding ethic that Christians hold out for themselves. So much more is required than to give a few bucks to charity and say a prayer for the less fortunate. So much more.”

Thanks for sharing this sacred text with us Bob and for your example of doing the “so much more” for those around you.

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