The rich young man in today’s Gospel has to answer the question that really confronts all of us, especially considering the affluent area in which we live. That question, of course, is what is most important in life? Do we continue to strive to have the most stuff, the best stuff, the cutting-edge stuff? Or do we give that up and go all in for the kingdom of God? Because we can’t have both; that doesn’t work. If our hands and hearts are filled with the stuff that we have, then we have no room for God and his love, and all the blessings he wants to give us.
Saint Peter in the first reading gives us the goal of our lives: that living hope that comes through Christ’s resurrection and provides hope that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” That is the hope worth striving for. That is certainly worth opening up our hands and letting go of the stuff that gets in our way.
We don’t know how the rich young man answered the question. He walked away sad, but we don’t know if he decided to live with the sadness, if the sadness gave way to despair, or if the sadness moved him to make radical changes in his life. But we do know that the ball is in our court. Do we experience that sadness? And if so, how will we deal with it? Please God let us let go of what we have been grasping so that we can grab hold of God’s hand offered to us in love. What is it that we will be letting go of?