During Lent, we remember the events that led up to the crucifixion. Jesus had come to bring hope and light to the world, but at every step there were those who could not accept the power of that light. He brought grace and forgiveness, but these gifts were often rejected by those filled with great love for other things.
We read in the Gospel of Mark: As Jesus was going on his way, a man ran up, knelt before him and asked, "Good teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?"
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him. "No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: do not commit murder, do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; do not cheat; respect your father and mother."
"Teacher," said the man, "ever since I was young, I have obeyed all these commandments."
Jesus looked straight at the man with love and said, "You need only one thing more. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then, come and follow me." When the man heard this, gloom spread over his face, and he went away sad, because he was very rich.
When Jesus spoke the truth, there were those who could not face its light, and they turned away. Every time one of these turned away, a little of the light that had come into the world was put out.