The Rich Young Man (Mt 19:16-22)
O Jesus, I will sacrifice everything to follow you.
Picture the young man asking Jesus about eternal life.
The man’s “kneeling down” shows great piety and his question is excellent. He wants what Jesus offers, eternal life. In responding to his question, Jesus mentions only commandments which deal with other people. Jesus makes the goal more definite. Jesus invites him “to follow.” Because Jesus is on a journey to Jerusalem, worldly possessions are an obstacle. So, the man “must sell what you have.”
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
A certain man ran up, knelt before Jesus and asked him, “Good Master, what shall I do to gain everlasting life?” Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” You know the commandments, “Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honor your father and your mother.” He answered, “Master, I have observed all these things since my youth.”
Jesus, looking on him, loved him and said, “One thing is lacking to you. Go, sell whatever you have and give to the poor and you shall have treasure in heaven. Then, come follow me.” Upon hearing this, the man grew sad and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The story begins with great hope. The man asks a fervent question, recounts a history of good moral behavior and seeks eternal life.
- Jesus affirms his reply and looks upon him with love.
- Jesus goes further and offers his greatest gift. He invites the man to follow.
- Jesus even motivates the man. He will have treasure in heaven.
- Instead of following Jesus, he turns back. His possessions keep him a captive.
- We will all meet him at the Last Judgment and discover the end of the story.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, what more do I need to do to gain eternal life?
- Jesus, you love me and want me to succeed.
- You invite me higher. You stir within and lead me further.
- O Jesus, what are my possessions compared to the treasure in heaven?
- All that I own is a small price to purchase the Kingdom.
- Turning away from you is emptiness. Following you is fullness.
- Wait for me, Jesus. I am coming right now.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ Today, I will ask Jesus, “Lord, what must I do to gain eternal life?”
+ I will help the poor.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Sell all and give to the poor. Your treasure in heaven will be great.