Today’s Gospel reading follows picks up where yesterday’s reading left off. As you remember, the rich young man went away sad, not knowing how he could attain eternal life, because he had many possessions. Today, Jesus explains to his disciples what was going on.
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven.” That was the sadness for the rich young man, right? He went away sad because of his many possessions. Now, it’s not going to be hard because God is setting up the obstacle; it will be hard because the rich young man was grieved at letting go of what he had.
So it is with us sometimes. Very often, we have placed an obstacle between ourselves and God. Or we are holding on to so much other stuff that we can’t receive what God wants us to have. Odds are one hundred percent that what God wants us to have will make us infinitely happier than the stuff currently in our hands.You see, Jesus isn’t bashing rich people. And it’s not just rich people who will have trouble going to the kingdom. It’s going to be hard for anyone who has an obstacle between themselves and Jesus. So whether that obstacle is riches, or our work, or our lifestyle, or our grudges, or our comfort zone, or whatever, we need to let go of all that. It’s going to be hard for us to get into heaven with obstacles in our way, with stuff in our hands, “but for God all things are possible.” If we let go of the garbage we are holding onto, if we make a real sacrifice for the kingdom, then the kingdom is ours.