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.”
I took a look at the calendar, and it’s been fourteen weeks since we were last in Ordinary Time. Remember that? That was the day before Ash Wednesday, Tuesday, February 21st. I guess it’s always that way, but it still took me by surprise!
The return to Ordinary Time and today’s Gospel reminds me of one of the challenges of the Christian life. We followers of Jesus do give up a lot to be members of His family, but we are called to look beyond what we give up to what we are in it for – the honor of being counted as one of His faithful disciples in heaven.
The truth, though, is that each day, particularly during this “Ordinary” time, we have to choose to follow Jesus, and to go where He asks us to go. He won’t demand that we do it, and He won’t drag us someplace we don’t choose to go. But, He will gently nudge us in our hearts, that we might see others as He sees them. If we do that, we can shine His light into the darkness of the world.
I wrote this a couple of years back, and think that it’s a good perspective on this “Ordinary” time:
Our return to Ordinary Time reminds us that our lives of faith are lived in these ordinary moments. While some may be graced to have amazing spiritual experiences, most of us will not. That’s okay, though, as God wishes to speak to us through the ordinary. Sometimes we may think that God asks an awful lot from us. He wants us to love others, to give of ourselves to others and to try to live a life that draws those others closer to Him. If you look at our faith life like that, you may wind up feeling like Peter did at the start of today’s Gospel, and want to echo with him the same question: “Look at what we have given up for You, Lord. Don’t You care?” (okay, I’ll admit to paraphrasing a little)
Let’s not be like Peter as I have characterized him here. Let us just try to share Jesus’ message through the ordinary and mundane actions of our days. And, when we look back, don’t be surprised to see that God did something extraordinary with that “ordinary” action, just for us saying “yes” and doing our best to keep at the work given us by our loving Savior.
Action for the Day:
Pay attention today to the small and ordinary actions of your day. When you get to the end of the day, say thank you to God for blessing you with any glimpses you had of Him through this “ordinary” day!
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!