A man approaches Jesus, asking what he needs to do in order to follow him and to have eternal life. But he isn’t ready for the answer that he receives; Jesus asks him to give up all his wealth. The most powerful phrase in this reading from Mark’s Gospel is: ‘Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him.’ Jesus loves the man, and sees that his question about eternal life is sincere. So Jesus challenges him to let go of the one thing that is stopping him from giving his life completely to God – his riches. The challenge is too much. The man goes away sad, not prepared to give up all his possessions.
Jesus takes the opportunity to teach his disciples that it is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. We may think that money and possessions make us secure. But our only real security comes from our faith in God.
Jesus looks steadily at each one of us, loves us, and asks us to give up whatever it is that prevents us from following him. We may not be rich, but we may have our own obstacles; we may be looking for security in worldly things. Only through faith in Christ can we inherit eternal life.