How free can we all really become from our things?  The truth is that phones, stuffed animals, homes and cars can end up owning us, if we are too tied to them.  We don’t really hear what eventually happened to the rich young man.  We know he initially “goes away sad”.  After a lifetime of obeying all the commandments, Jesus sees that he is not really “free” and the challenge, likely after working hard to accumulate many things, seems too much for him to bear.  

I’d like to think that after some time the man began to slowly try to become more detached.  And I pray that this summer as we begin to return to a busier fall schedule, perhaps, we too might do more than just clean out the clutter of our shelves, but instead ask how we might make more room in our hearts for those nobody dares to possess.  And move towards them empty handed to offer everything that is contained within us.

—Mike Hayes is the Director of Campus Ministry at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.