In this week’s Gospel, a man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus knows that this man is honorable and has followed most of the commandments, but his one shortcoming is that he needs to learn to let go of material possessions. Jesus instructs the man to sell everything he has and give it to the poor. Further on in the reading, God promises that our efforts in humility are not in vain. In the reading, Jesus says to the man, “no one who has left home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, or children, or fields for me, and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age.” God promises that when we set aside our earthly desires, we will inherit things far greater than what material goods can provide.
I am not sure if you can relate, but I have accumulated a lot of stuff throughout my life and I quite enjoy most of my things. However, I have learned that having more does not equate to being happier. Our world often likes to preach the idea that things are what make you happy, and this is far from the truth. Living in such a consumerist-driven society, it can be difficult to limit and detach ourselves from material things. I have found that when I have thoughts about what I lack or don’t have, I try to think about all the things I do have. Doing this allows me to see how much I have and to be grateful.
In the gospel, Christ calls us to cast aside our attachments to tangible goods, internalized doubts, and other worries that hinder us from creating a relationship with Him. For when we let go of everything, we are no longer bound to societal expectations, and this allows us to grow closer to Christ, causing our lives to become more meaningful. Like the man in the story, I too need to reevaluate the weight of earthly possessions and God’s presence in my life. So, I invite you today to reflect on the presence of God in your life and the blessings he has bestowed upon you.