"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus’ response was very educational: ‘You know the commandments: You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery…’ and so forth. It was a basic catechesis, echoed down for generations since the time of Moses. But the young man wasn’t satisfied.
The General Directory for Catechesis tells us that this story is central in understanding how to pass on the faith to young people. ‘The heart of catechesis is the explicit proposal of Christ to the young man in the Gospel; it is a direct proposal to all young people in terms appropriate to young people, and with considered understanding of their problems.’ (GDC 183)
The rich young man was given an opportunity that the rest of humanity could only dream about: to be a disciple in the time of Christ! He had an opportunity to become one of the Church’s first saints, but his riches held him back. And though we know the story, we do not know his name.