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.
Today’s Gospel reading makes us all conclude that no one can follow Jesus. His command is too difficult – impossible. Give everything to the poor?! Then again, perhaps all we have to do is be good by living according to his commandments, although that last one about loving our neighbors as ourselves is a bit of a high bar to jump.
That young man gave up too easily. He just walked away sad. Teenagers of today would have done some bargaining, and Jesus might have compromised. Nothing ventured; nothing gained. Jesus must have been testing that lad to get a reaction. He probably shook his head as the young man walked away. Jesus tests us all the time.
Eternal life comes at a price, but we will never know the fee. I’m guessing that broken commandments won’t bar those heavenly gates. Being regretful and asking for forgiveness for what we’ve done should be the cost of entry. Otherwise, we’d all be on outside looking in.
Deacon David Pierce