When the rich young man approached Jesus, he was pretty sure that he already knew the answer to the question he was about to ask. “What must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus used the encounter as a critical and potentially life changing teaching moment.
Even though the rich man was keeping the commandments and obviously respected and sought to embrace the mission and message of Jesus, there was still a significant barrier to his complete and total commitment to God and following Him. Jesus’ answer saddened the young man, and at least in that moment, failed to convict him to let go and become a true disciple.
Jesus’ answer is a challenge to us still today: Make yourself poor.
Let go of everything that you possess and hold dear.Set aside everything that distracts and separates you from God.
Give away your treasure, security, comfort and control.
It proved too much for the rich man… what about you? We are rich in many ways. We are rich in our opinions, status, reputations and self-reliance. Not only do we live in comfort and ease compared to most of the world, but we are surrounded by material possessions, as well. We may even possess many God-given gifts and talents-- but if they become idols in our lives and we covet them more than the Giver, without realizing that they are HIS gifts and not ours to possess, then even they can become impediments to our journey back to Him.
Here’s the deal: True discipleship will cost us dearly.
It will strip us of our self-serving garments and render us poor in spirit. It will empty us of all that we hold dear to fill us with the treasures of His will. It will leave us with a hunger that no earthly thing can satisfy. That’s why He feeds us with Himself in the Eucharist.
He is all we need.