Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22 -
A young man approached Jesus and asked, “Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Only one is Good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.” The young man said, “Which commandments?” Jesus replied, “Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him, “I have kept all these commandments, what is still lacking?” Jesus answered, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all that you possess and give the money to the poor and you will become the owner of a treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.”
On hearing this answer, the young man went away sad for he was a man of great wealth.
This rich young man is the only one in the New Testament who was called by Christ but did not follow. Matthew says that he was young, and Luke says that he was a ruler, but all the Gospels tell us that he was rich. No more is heard of him; he disappears completely from the record. We hear much about Judas (more, in fact, than about many of the Twelve), and we even see attempts to rehabilitate him; but we hear nothing more about the rich young man. Wealth has a way of silently stifling one’s life.
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