In our gospel, several persons seek Jesus to ask for advice: the rich young man, the disciples, and Peter. They all have preoccupations: the rich man: “What should I do to go to heaven?” the disciples: “Lord, who can be saved?” and Peter: “Jesus, we have left everything to follow you, what about us?” Jesus responds to their worries. They are all seekers, especially this young man. This story describes the on-going conversion that must take place in our relationship with God, with our neighbor, and with material goods. Jesus is a demanding master over his disciples.
He is most demanding that his commandments be fulfilled, but they must also have a clean and detached heart and trust in God in order to fulfill the mission entrusted by him. Jesus is telling us through this story to use material goods as a means, not as an end in themselves; for us Christians it is okay to work and have material goods which are necessary to live, but at the same time we must detach our hearts from our possessions and money so that they don't become our idols, our obstacles in following the Lord.