Have you ever felt that the challenges of being an authentic disciple are just too great? Have you ever been overwhelmed by Jesus' teachings? Love your enemies; pray for your persecutors. Offer no resistance to injury. When a person strikes you on the right cheek, turn and offer him the other. In giving alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Do not lay up for yourselves an earthly treasure. Store up treasure in heaven. Forgive without limit. Do not turn away the borrower. Sell what you have and give to the poor. Judge not, lest you be judged. Become as little children. Love one another as I have loved you. Repent and believe the good news.
As we listen to today's Gospel, we can sense that Jesus' disciples were taken aback by the challenge he extended to the man with many possessions. Their surprise was even greater when Jesus told them how difficult it is for the rich to enter God's kingdom. Mark tells us they were amazed and exceedingly astonished.