|The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XVI: ”How True Comfort must be Sought in God Alone” (second entry)
After this line, Kempis goes on to say that our attitude toward temporal things must be utility, while eternal considerations are what are to be desired. How we handle worldly matters determines the extent to which we desire and will attain unending happiness.
As we draw near to the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we recall the great challenges to living the life of a Christian disciple that Jesus has already presented in this extended lesson. Here, the Lord provides one of His most ominous warnings: deviation from the path to holiness is easy and most folks take these dangerous side routes endangering their eternal fate. How does this happen? By not heeding what Jesus says immediately before His discussion of the two paths: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.”
Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms how easy it is to “desire these present goods too inordinately” thus “los[ing] the heavenly and eternal goods.” There are few passages in all of Scripture that should give us pause like this one. The Lord was a radical — there is no room for compromise for the true disciple. One must be detached from this world while fully embracing God’s will for us so that we may have joy in the next world. The Messiah is not messing around here. Neither should we.