As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud; honour your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
The young man in today’s Gospel actively sought out Jesus and wanted to follow Him. He led a good life and obeyed all God’s commandements. But Jesus looked into his eyes full of love and told him that in order to follow Him he had to first give up all that he possessed and give his riches to the poor.
Now we may say that we follw Jesus and put Him at the centre of our lives. But do we really? How can we tell? The point in the Gospel is that the man loved Jesus with his head, but his heart was elsewhere – in his earthly treasures.
If we are to follow Jesus we need to examine our hearts and discover where it truly lies. What things are there in our lives that act as a barrier to true fellowship with Jesus Christ? It might be that we are obsessed with material goods, technology, having the latest gadget – for example the iPhone. Or perhaps we spend too much time on social networks, watching television or gossipping about others. Is there some habitual sin that we cannot or simply do not want to give up.
Whatever it is, we all have some ‘treasure’ stored up on earth that prevents us from fully following Jesus. Spend a few minutes in the silence of your heart this week, contemplating what it is that God sees that He wants you to give up on earth so that you may store up great treasure in Heaven.