Beginning of the homily
2. How should have the rich young man responded? With promptitude, generosity, and heroism. Once the call of God is known, we must carry it out:
A. with promptitude: that is to say executing quickly what God desires, not postponing its realization. “The grace of the Holy Spirit is a speedy grace” (St. Anselm). “We must respond without delay” (Venerable Luis de la Puente). Popular wisdom teaches “Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today”. Poetically, Jose Maria Peman, puts in St Francis Xavier these words:
“The great resolutions,
For its best accomplishment,
Must be taken in the moment
And they must be fulfilled quickly.
…I am friendlier to the wind,
My lady, than to the breeze…
And we must do the good in a hurry
Since evil does not lose a moment!”
Those who constantly delay the call of God find themselves in the deplorable state of soul that Lopez de Vega so well describes:
“How many times the angel would tell me:
Soul peer now through the window
And you will see with what love he endeavors to calls
And how many oh sovereign Beauty
Tomorrow we will open respond
To respond the same thing again tomorrow!”
The saints replied with promptitude. Such is the case of Abraham, of Samuel “Speak, Lord for your servants hears (1 Sam 3:10). Likewise responded St Peter and St Andrew: they abandoned their nets and followed him (Mk 1:18). St Paul too followed instantly: instantly, without seeking counsel of any man (Gal 1:16). As did the Holy Virgin upon knowing the will of God: let it be done unto me according to your word (Lk 1:38) going in haste (Lk 1:39) to the house of Elizabeth.
B. with generosity: that is to say with perfection they left everything (Lk 5:11). And they left them decidedly: no one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62).
Some say that they want to serve the Lord but they give the conditions: “Lord let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead” (Mt 8:21-22).
God desires the total surrender. He wants our heart undivided and unconditionally.
C. with heroism: it is the disposition of those that truly desire to follow Christ in such a way that as St. Paul says they wish to die to be with Christ, and as St. Thomas says, “they do not retract in difficult endeavors that give glory to God and save souls.”