The Gospel according to Mark (10:28-31)
Peter began to say to Jesus,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
As we are here, ending this portion of Ordinary Time after today for the penitential season of Lent tomorrow, it is easy to consider all that we give up as followers of Jesus. We choose to care for others, to sacrifice for others, even though the world we live in does not consider that a good choice. It’s easy to see how Peter, on our own behalf, cries out about all that he gave up. But, we miss the point if we only look at the sacrifice. Jesus’ response to Peter and to us reminds us that the sacrifices we do are tiny, compared with the glory of eternal life that He wants for each one of us!
For Linda and me, the road to the Diaconate was a little like that. We had to give up many of our Saturdays while in formation, and additional time besides to complete our readings and assignments, or to prepare presentations as part of our studies. Could we have spent that time doing something more fun, instead? Probably. But, that journey was one that we knew God was calling us to follow. And, His promise of grace was the reason we kept on, and persevered. And, the love of those who supported us during Formation and now, too, is such a wonderful blessing for us. We are so grateful.
Going forward, we know that our job in our Lord’s kingdom is to be of service, and to be Jesus’ hands and feet and voice. It’s not promised to be easy, but we know that God will give us the ability to do His work. And, when it gets harder to do, we rely even more on His grace and mercy.
As we prepare to embark into Lent tomorrow, may each of us think of what God wishes us to do as part of His kingdom, and to ask Him for the grace to do our best to do that work, and to shine God’s light to all we meet.
Action for the Day: In preparation for Lent, think of what kind actions you will do to those whom you meet, to share God’s love with them.
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!