The Wisdom of Riches

Today’s gospel is a familiar one: “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus answers him, citing familiar words from the Commandments. “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”  Jesus responds: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor,…” And the young rich man goes away sad as he had many possessions.

If you wish to be “perfect” – something that echos Matthew 5:48: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  The underlying word translated as “perfect” is the Greek teleios. I am not sure that is the best translation for modern-day English. I would suggest a better understanding would be to use the word “complete.”

Continue reading