Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I imagine, like the disciples, we’ve all found ourselves saying to God: “I have given up so much to follow you….What’s in it for me?” Far from selfish, this question is genuinely human.
In trying to live our lives as Christians we come to know sacrifice. We sacrifice our freedom, desires, and dreams when we commit to a vocation, a relationship, a job, or a child. We make material and physical sacrifices for the people we love. We sacrifice popularity, recognition, or acceptance when we stand up for what is right. In whatever form it takes, sacrifice is not comfortable or easy. It often seems a burden and a loss.
In today’s Gospel, however, Jesus flips our view upside down: paradoxically, sacrifice leads to joy, contentment, and fulfilment. A meaningful and rich life comes through putting ourselves aside for others. And each time we do, God promises fulfillment one hundred times over.
In what ways has God blessed you through the commitments you’ve made? Ask God today for the grace of seeing your sacrifices in a new light.
Lord, we place our trust in your intimate care for our well-being. You invite us day by day to “Come, follow me.” It doesn’t matter if we feel worthy of your call; it doesn’t matter if we feel close or distant to you. Your heart’s desire is to accompany us from sunrise to sunset. With gratitude we respond, “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!