Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It is too easy to get distracted by the end of this passage about giving up everything. I believe an essential detail here is that this passage begins with the young man seeking out Jesus. Jesus is not going around, unprompted, demanding people give away everything. This young man asks. He wants more. And to get what he deeply desires, will demand something major of him. Something he may not be quite ready for. But I like to imagine him going home, staying up all night thinking, and then just showing up quietly a week or so later having done what Jesus said, because he realizes he is right. Jesus knows what we deeply desire and how we can actually get it. Jesus does not want us to be half satisfied, and therefore half measures will not help us. So what do we deeply desire, and how might Jesus be telling us we can have it?
—Megan Agliano teaches in religious studies at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, AZ.
Jesus, you know my deepest desires better than I do. Help me to listen, understand and follow. Amen
—Megan AglianoPlease share the Good Word with your friends!