The Rich Young Man.
16 Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” 17 He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good.** If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, " ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. **What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you,** it will be hard** for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.
In the context of purgatory, this makes so much sense. What must the rich young man do to gain eternal life?? Follow the commandments.
My view of purgatory is consistent with Church teaching - we need it to be perfected for Heaven.
The young man asks what he still lacks. ** How can he lack ANYTHING?** He is already set to have eternal life? But, Jesus says instead, "If you want to be perfect..." Why would he want to be perfect? To avoid the purgation that will take place in the next life.
Indeed! The young man chooses to cling to his possessions rather than to follow Christ. The attachment to material things must be burned out of us in order to achieve the perfection needed for Heaven!
Then, Jesus says, "It will be hard..." I think this verse is often times incorrectly taken to mean that a rich person is not likely to gain eternal life. But, that's not what this says. It says that entry will be hard. Why would it be hard? Because, there's a purification process that is going to be hard process to endure.
So, do I have this wrong?