What must I do to inherit eternal life? What must I do to enter the kingdom of God?
This is the question of the rich young man.
He observed the commandments – worshipped God on Sabbath, he avoided doing evil – he did not kill, steal, lie or commit adultery. He thought that was enough.
Yet Jesus said there was more he could do: sell everything he had, give his wealth to the poor and follow him. This he could not do – so he went away sad. Because of this Jesus commented: “how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus did not say that it was impossible – he said it was hard.
Why is it so hard? There is a tendency for the rich to hold on to their riches – to keep on accumulating, to keep on hoarding. They can end becoming enslaved by greed and selfishness – and worship the god of mammon. They fail to live as true followers and disciples of Jesus. It is hard for the rich to give up their obsession to accumulate more and more wealth. It is hard for the rich the share their wealth with the poor. But it is not impossible.
Through the centuries we have the examples of rich who accepted Jesus challenge – like St. Francis of Assisi and many more
Today there are many lay people in our country who have taken up the challenge to become true disciples of Jesus – like those who started and supported the Gawad Kalinga program, the BECs in upper-class subdivisions who have set up the Church of the Poor fund to help poor parishes set up livelihood projects for poor communities.
Yes, it is hard but it is not impossible.
What is needed is a process of conversion – and to adopt a spirituality of stewardship
I means having the awareness we really do not own what we have – these are blessings from God
Because of this we must be willing to share our material resources, our time and ability with others – especially those in need.