The Young Rich Man

“Go and sell all you have… then come and follow me.”

(Mt. 19:21)

When the young man left disappointed, Jesus saw the reaction of the disciples who didn’t know what to say. Therefore, Christ pointed out the reason for which the young man couldn’t do what Jesus told him to do:

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

 (Mt. 19:23)

After hearing these words, people who don’t consider themselves wealthy might exhale in relief as Jesus was talking about the obstacles the rich would face. However, the wealth Jesus Christ was talking about was not the number of possessions but the multitude of temptations filling the heart of the young man. The Holy Scripture shows us the young man’s meeting with Christ from the outside only. We can not see what was going on in his heart in the way Jesus did. Jesus was paying attention, not to the material wealth of the rich young man but to his devotion to that wealth he couldn’t get rid of. It could be compared to a worm eating the young man out from the inside. Jesus’s message to the young man was like “I’m not expecting this from everybody, but you are the one thriving to perfection.”

In other words, the process of salvation has nothing to do with possession, as wealth is not the obstacle on our way to heaven. The thing that really matters is our internal wealth, what we are living for, what is guiding our life. Even if the young man had given off all his possessions, it wouldn’t have solved his problem completely, as Jesus also asked him to follow Him. 

In this passage of the Holy Scripture, Jesus pointed out the complete freedom for those who got rid of the passions. It is up to us to be aware of our spiritual weaknesses, our weak persistence in good deeds, poor perseverance in thriving to holiness. The only way to go through it is while constantly asking for help, mercy, and support by our Savior. 

God is calling everyone, those who are lazy, passive, or indifferent for the new life with Christ together. Let us accept the words of Christ we heard in today’s Gospel, let us use them and follow them in our everyday life for the salvation of our immortal souls. Amen.

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