Et ecce unus accedens, ait illi: Magister bone, quid boni faciam ut habeam vitam æternam? Qui dixit ei: Quid me interrogas de bono? Unus est bonus, Deus. Si autem vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata. Dicit illi: Quæ? Jesus autem dixit: Non homicidium facies; non adulterabis; non facies furtum; non falsum testimonium dices; honora patrem tuum, et matrem tuam, et diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum. Dicit illi adolescens: Omnia hæc custodivi a iuventute mea: quid adhuc mihi deest? Ait illi Jesus: Si vis perfectus esse, vade, vende quæ habes, et da pauperibus, et habebis thesaurum in cælo: et veni, sequere me. (Mt 19.16-21)
And behold one coming along said to Him, “Good Master, what good must I do to have eternal life? And He said to him, “Why are you asking me about what is good? God alone is good. Therefore, if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which?” Then Jesus answered him, “You shall not murder; you shall not be an adulterer; you shall not commit theft; you will not give a false testimony; honor your father and your mother, and care for your neighbor as if it were yourself.” The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these since my youth; what do I lack even still?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go, sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow me.” (Translation mine)
It is the commandments of God that compels us not to sin; it is the grace of God in Christ that frees us from the need of our possessions, allowing us to give them over to the poor, and to go and follow Him.
From tonight’s Vespers:
Because he has given freedom to the destitute who called to him,
to the poor, whom no-one will hear.
He will spare the poor and the needy,
he will keep their lives safe. (Ps 72)