The Christ and The rich young man
12th Sunday of Matthew
” When a person has love, he offers whatever is most precious to him.”
The rich young man of today’s Gospel was a religious man and kept the commandments of the Old Testament. However, he felt an emptiness. It was for this reason that he approached Christ and asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life. He was waiting for Christ to tell him that what he was doing was enough, or possibly that he needed to do something more. That’s why the young man asked: “What do I still lack? ”But things don’t go well for the youth because Christ wants everything from him.
It often happens that a person is not much bothered by refusing or distancing himself from certain things. But there is always someway in which he is trapped, something to which he is bound. As many times as he runs to God with the desire to respond to God’s love, he is willing to give everything except for those things by which he is bound. He is trapped by these and zealously holds on to them. And yet it can’t be both the one and the other: responding to God’s love and remaining bound to something. If you hold onto your wealth, you lose God. If you want God, you will lose your wealth, lose the possessions you have, or your “riches” figuratively speaking; that is, those things which – even if they aren’t money – are precious and useful to you, and it is for this reason that you don’t want to be separated from them.
When a person has love, he offers whatever is most precious to him. God gave His Son. And he waits for us to respond to this love by giving everything we have – giving our own selves, to Him. We are not living naturally if we don’t give ourselves over to God; our life is unnatural and we are unable to find rest. So let’s dare –at least a little– to do that which appears so difficult to us. If we do this – if we give ourselves to God – everything is easy afterwards.
So from this day humble yourself, and in particular, think: God gave His Son for me, won’t I give myself to Him?
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Translated by fr. Matthew Penney