The Rich Young Man


Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday In The Nineteenth Week In Ordinary Time

Matthew 19:16-22


If everyone on earth will understand the above passage, this world would be a perfect place to live in.  I don’t think that the above conversation is difficult to interpret as it clearly tells us the message that Jesus is saying to the young man.  The young man followed all the Ten Commandments thoroughly, but in a legalistic way.  When Jesus asked him to sell all what he possessed, the man knew that it was very difficult for him to give away all he had accumulated, his love for his wealth was much more than the understanding of God, he had in his heart.  As he walked away saddened, we come to know that the first Commandment, “ I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange Gods before me”.  There is no mentioned that the young man worshipped other gods.  But yes, he had made his possessions his first love and he was so attached to them that it was very difficult for him to appreciate and notice God’s Love, as seen in the Jewish Scriptures. He he did, he would have given away belongings gladly, to enter the Kingdom of God.  His love of things had made him blind to the distraction that they were, making him blind to understanding God’s Love and Kingdom.

Today when we look around us or even ourselves, we can see that the god of materialism making us blind, and making us greedy to hoard things, like houses, clothes, shoes etc…  We assign so much importance to  studies, work, hobbies that we forget to live life, and let God come in our lives. We keep him waiting beyond the door of our lives. God for for us is the lifeline when we get our selves into trouble.  We are distracting ourselves with our kids, spouses, friends, mobiles, social networking, bikes, cars etc…  Is it wrong to prosper, no, Jesus also wants us to be happy, but not at the cost of our identity as God’s Children. If God’s Children, then we need to have proper place in it for Our Father in Heaven, and like him not be selfish but self giving.  Riches can pose a danger to our spirituality, it may bring in crime in our lives, bring in further unwanted distractions, and also cut us off from others and making us the opposite of what it means to be the children of God; exploiter, oppressor, etc.  

Wealth can also be used to do much good and the current situation has compelled us to rethink all of the above.  There are the rich who are accumulating so much wealth, competing with the wealthy to be the richest in the country and in the world.  Not realising their wealth could give life to the sick and needy.  On the contrary there are also good people who own big businesses and help the downtrodden and needy with the excess amount they earn as income.

Whom do we want to be like the other Rich Man who did not even look at poor Lazarus at his house gate.  Or be like Zacchaeus who decided part with his wealth and give 50% to the pure and return 4-fold to the ones he had defrauded. Jesus came calling on Zacchaeus, and he opened his heart wholeheartedly to Him.

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