For the young, life can feel like a limitless landscape of possibilities. It can seem there is nothing we cannot do or become if we simply set our minds to it. But as we age, the possibilities may appear to shrink, whether through the choices we make or through the limits of a world beyond our control. At certain points in life, we may look at ourselves---who we are and what we have become---and see not possibilities but, rather, inevitabilities. It may seem impossible to live any other way than how we are currently living or for people to see us in any other way than they currently do. We may struggle to see any way beyond our habits or patterns, our history, or our current toles.
In today's gospel, Jesus invites a man to leave behind everything he has known and thought about himself to become Jesus' disciple. To the world, the man is defined by his wealth, but Jesus sees the man behind the possessions and loves him,. He sees past what seems inevitable about the man, to what God can make possible. Yet, tragically, the man can only see the world's vision of him, a vision of limited possibilities. When Jesus calls him to leave his wealth behind, the man thinks he is being asked the impossible and goes away heartbroken.
In the Christian assembly, the voice of Christ calls us to look past one another's worldly inevitabilities to the divine possibilities present among us. No matter what moment of life we are in, it is never too late. No matter what our history of failures or addictions, there are still more chances. No matter what we have been to this point, there is still something new we can become. Jesus calls us to leave ourselves behind in order to follow him, to rediscover who we are with a God for whom all things are possible.