The rich man comes to Jesus full of excitement and passion. So much so, he could not see clearly. Even Jesus was infected by this passionate moment, as must everyone around them. But Jesus did what he expects all true disciples to do and so teaches us a valuable lesson.
First, he said to the man in effect, stop and think. You’re caught up in the excitement of the moment. Be still; think calmly what you are doing. Jesus is not discouraging the man, rather, he is guiding him. Jesus is telling the man to count the cost.
Secondly, he said in effect, you cannot become a Christian solely by having a sentimental passion for him. You must first discern a true desire for God. And it is true for all of us who wish to follow ‘the Way.’ If we were to sit for a moment and weigh ‘what we really desire in life; weigh the things that are material and divine, what would we find?
Just before the Papal Mass on Sunday, the Master of Ceremonies gathered the seminarians who were serving the Mass. He said to them: You are here to serve the Pope and yes this is very exciting. But, the Pope is here to serve only Christ. So we must serve Christ too.
As Christians we need only one desire in life that is God. If we discover that our attachments are to material things, or to busyness, then we need to listen more carefully to the words of the Gospel: ‘Follow me,’- Go, give these false desires away and desire only one thing. If you do this will you discover true happiness.