“There was a man who came to Jesus and asked, ‘Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good. There is one alone who is good.”

Matthew 19:16-22

Today’s reading records a curious meeting between a young man and Jesus. This young man is wealthy but eagerly goes to Jesus, probably due to His reputation as a teacher. This young man calls Jesus ‘good teacher’. Jesus’ response is quite interesting. He says: “Why do you call me good?” He almost hints at the lack of faith in this young man who cannot recognise Jesus as more than just a ‘good teacher’. Where does Jesus’ goodness come from? What about us? Do we really believe Jesus is Lord, and good because of this? Or is He just one ‘good teacher’ among many?

The young man, like us, asks about what brings lasting happiness – about what brings eternal life. Jesus directs him to the commandments, which the young man practices…so Jesus then sees a higher calling in love that this man can be brought to. He tells him to sell his possessions, give to the poor and follow Him. When Jesus tells us this, how do we react? What is our response?

The young man was left sad because he was attached to his possessions. As a result, he did not follow Jesus in a more complete way. Happiness is in following Jesus fully, this is Jesus’ full answer to the young man’s question. What attachments keep us from following Jesus more fully today?