What do I still lack?
Read Matthew 19:16–29.
Our Lord answered the rich young man, by saying, “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” And the young man replied, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said again to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
What splendid inducements were here held out by our Lord to the young man whom, looking on, he loved, as St. Mark tells us! [Mark 10:17–31]. In place of perishable, Jesus offered him eternal wealth; instead of limited earthly possessions, the boundless kingdom of heaven and the enjoyment of glory and happiness therein proportioned to the greatness of his sacrifice. What blessedness for the young man had he understood and followed the counsels of his divine Lord!
But the young man, instead of being filled with joy and gladness at these words of our Lord, “went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
Here we are tempted to inquire the end of this young man; was he saved or lost? St. Augustine thinks that he was not saved ... because his want of resolution led him to fall an easy prey to the temptations of wealth, which he would have avoided in following his vocation. Our Lord’s words on the departure of the young man give great weight to this opinion: “It is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
About the author and the source
Today’s words are adapted from an anonymous French devotional whose author is identified only as a father (priest) in the Society of Jesus.
Anonymous. Practical Meditations for Every Day in the Year on the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. London: Burns and Oates, Ld., c. 1868.