Fr Paul reads from Matthew’s Gospel (19:16-22) in which the rich young man asks Jesus, ‘what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’.
The story of the rich man starts with the man calling Jesus ‘Master’; the disciples call Jesus ‘Lord’ so, Fr Paul notes, even in this language, this difference, we already have a hint that this rich young man will not be a disciple.
As we hear in this Gospel, the rich young man asks what good work should he do. What he was wanting to do was some practical action. For this man, his whole attitude is being challenged by Jesus.
Jesus is saying to him it is not just about doing something practical but it is about a whole change of attitude and a whole reconsideration of what this man’s treasure is and where it lies. It is only after such radical change can he come near to Jesus and follow him.
Mindful of this rich young man, Fr Paul asks, for our reflection today, ‘What is it in our lives that stops us from coming near to Jesus and following him? What is it that blocks our path? What is it that we need to change our attitude towards in order to become a disciple of Jesus?