He commanded the rich young man to sell all, and give it to the poor.

The Catholic Answers

This was not a command, obliging in conscience. It was a special invitation which the young man was free to accept or reject. If the possession of goods as such were evil, Christ would have been recommending the young man to cause evil in the very ones who bought or accepted possession of his goods. But you have misunderstood the passage. The rich young man said to Christ, “What must I do to be saved?” Christ replied, “Keep the commandments.” Thus He specified what was necessary for salvation. But hearing that the young man had kept them, He went further: “If you desire not only to be saved, but to be perfect, then do more than is of obligation. Sell all, and follow Me.” The young man turned away sad, for he had not the generosity of character required. But the Gospel does not suggest that he was lost. No man is lost who loves God enough to keep all the commandments. Meantime, in the Catholic Church, thousands of Priests, Brothers, and Nuns have renounced all worldly possessions and have vowed poverty for the love of Christ, giving up the right to possess or administer anything in their own name. Thus the invitation of Christ is fulfilled in the Religious Orders of the Catholic Church.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty

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