Seeking True Goodness:The Encounter Between Jesus and the Rich Young Man

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The Encounter

This Bible reading is taken from the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 19:16-22). It presents a profound encounter between Jesus and a young man seeking eternal life. This interaction offers several layers of reflection about the nature of goodness, the call to follow Christ, and the challenges posed by material wealth.


The Question of Goodness: The young man’s initial question reveals a common human concern—how to attain eternal life or ultimate goodness. Jesus’ response points out that only God is truly good. This highlights the divine nature of goodness and the impossibility of achieving it through mere human effort. This reminds us of our need for grace and guidance from God.

The Commandments: Jesus directs the young man to the commandments as a guide to living a righteous life. By listing several commandments related to interpersonal relationships, Jesus emphasizes the importance of loving God and loving one’s neighbor. This echoes the two great commandments he later speaks about: to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

The Young Man’s Response: The young man claims to have kept the commandments, but he seeks something more. This illustrates the human tendency to strive for higher levels of spirituality and virtue, beyond mere rule-following. This yearning for deeper meaning and significance is something many people experience.

The Call to Radical Discipleship: Jesus’ response to the young man’s desire for greater perfection is striking. He challenges the young man to give up his attachment to material possessions and to follow him. This call to radical discipleship demonstrates that following Jesus involves not just following rules, but a complete reorientation of one’s life toward God and the values of the Kingdom.

Wealth and Detachment: The young man’s response to Jesus’ radical call reveals the challenge of detachment from worldly possessions. His sadness upon hearing Jesus’ words reflects the deep attachment he had to his wealth. This encounter underscores the difficulty of prioritizing spiritual values over material comfort.

In summary, this passage offers lessons about the nature of goodness, the importance of love for God and neighbor, the call to radical discipleship, and the challenge of detachment from material wealth. It encourages us to examine our own motives for seeking goodness and eternal life, and to consider the ways in which we might be attached to things that hinder our spiritual growth. Ultimately, this passage invites us to reflect on what it means to truly follow Christ and live in accordance with his teachings.

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Saint Thomas Aquinas asserts," Your soul is worth more than all of the created universe!" You have dignity because you are created in the image of God. I believe Saint Thomas Aquinas's statement. Being a Christian does not mean you will not have problems in life, or that you will not feel lost sometimes. God does not remove all our obstacles but He is there to carry us over and through them to reach the finish line. I hope to share things here that will help you to discover, develop and grow your relationship with God.

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