The rich young man in today’s Gospel reminds us that Heaven doesn’t accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, or Bitcoin. It’s not a question of dollars and cents, but of how much we want to be with God forever. He doesn’t want our money; he wants our love. That love implies detaching ourselves from other, fleeting, loves, and putting love for him first. In the Old Testament the Lord was described as a jealous God, but he is far from petty. He simply helps us see what we truly love and what we truly don’t.
Today’s Gospel tells us that Our Lord looked at the rich young man and “loved” him. He helped him see what he truly loved: his lifestyle and wealth. The young man left, and he didn’t leave happy. He was torn between two loves, and he opted for the love that seemed more substantial and satisfying, but lost sight of that fact that the object of his love would be gone sooner or later.
What do you have to do to gain eternal life? Ask Our Lord and be prepared to do whatever it takes. It will engender a new hope in you because you’ll know, by the grace of God, that one day you’ll have an inheritance that’s “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, [and] kept in heaven for you” just as St. Peter reminds us in today’s First Reading.