Friends, in today’s Gospel, a rich young man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. There is something absolutely right about the young man, something spiritually alive, and that is his deep desire to share in everlasting life. He knows what he wants, and he knows where to find it.
Jesus responds to his wonderful and spiritually alive question by enumerating many of the Commandments. The young man takes this in, and replies, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” So Jesus looks at him with love and says, “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor . . . then come, follow me.”
God is nothing but love, straight through, and therefore the life of friendship with him, in the richest sense, is a life of total love, self-forgetting love. Jesus senses that this young man is ready for the high adventure of the spiritual life: he is asking the right question and he is properly prepared. But at this point the young man tragically balks. The spiritual life, at the highest pitch, is about giving your life away, and this is why the many possessions are a problem.