Go, sell what you have
In truth, Jesus does not require all his disciples to sell their property or leave home to follow him as an itinerant preacher. The sisters Martha and Mary, and their brother Lazarus, stay home where they offer Jesus hospitality whenever he is around. Zacchaeus, the tax collector, remains in Jericho to make up to those whom he may have defrauded. Perfection is demanded of all followers of Jesus — but not all in the same way. In the case of the rich young man, it involves selling his possessions and giving the proceeds to the poor. With no material possessions to rely on, he will then have to put his trust in God, following Jesus who has “nowhere to rest his head” (Mt 8:20). He also has to base his “salvation” from his closeness to Jesus rather than his strict observance of the commandments.
In his Letter to the Youth, St. John Paul II writes that while only a few young people may be rich in material possessions, everyone has “the treasure of youth.” May the treasure of youth be not an impediment for the young to be a follower of Christ! And may the heavenly treasure leave our hearts unbound.
GOSPEL • MATTHEW 19:16-22
A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which
ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
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