The story of the Rich Young Man in the gospels is one that offers many different aspects for reflection. Jesus’ reply to the question of what the young man must do to attain eternal life is masterful. Jesus challenges the young man to let go of control of his life and choose to surrender to God and let God direct his life. This is what selling all his earthly goods will enable. It is so often our attachment to the things of this world that hold us back from greatness. None of the saints were attached to the pleasures of life – they were content to allow God control of their lives and let him be the master of what they did.

 

The situation of the rich, young man is probably a little bit too close for comfort for most of us. If we are honest with ourselves there are many things in this world that we enjoy and we all try to position our lives in such a way that we maximise them as much as possible! Is there anything wrong with such an attitude. Not in essence, however, for a disciple of Jesus there is more to life than the pleasures of this life and it is in fixing our gaze on the rewards and promises of eternal life that ought to be governing our decisions here.

 

It takes a person of great faith to let go of the pleasures of the world to the degree that Jesus demands of us as his disciples if holiness is our goal. Of course, there is a lesser discipleship that sees us conform to a minimalistic understanding of the call of faith in that we avoid sin and are involved in the ministry and mission of the Church. A disciple truly given over to living his or her faith as the primary focus of one’s life wants more than a minimalistic response – he or she wants their entire life given over to the service of the Kingdom of God – this is what the lives of the saints are all about. They are not interested in giving the minimum; only the maximum, that is everything, will do.

 

Let us all pray that we will capture the enthusiasm of the saints as we seek to follow Jesus and give our lives over to the service of his Kingdom.

 

Jesus, help me to let go of my attachments to the world and the pleasures of this life, not because they are necessarily wrong or bad, but because I want my life to speak unequivocally of the values of your Kingdom.