May 28, 2013

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the Eight Week in Ordinary Time

Mk 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Louiemar C. Melgar)

In the time of Jesus, wealth and material goods are considered as the favour of God, earned through compliance with the law. Indeed, the economic and social support of the family of the individual is integral. To give up family and property is for them very difficult.

Subsequently, when Peter heard Jesus speaking, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God,” he asked what is in store for them who have followed Jesus. Peter, who acted as the spokesperson of the disciples, enunciated the problem that bothered them, “We have given up everything and followed you.” However, Jesus assured them of a hundredfold reward. He promised His disciples that no one who followed Him would ever lose what was really significant, either in this life or in the life to come. God would reward each one of them a hundredfold. The expression a hundredfold or a hundred times meant a rich harvest, the fullness of the blessing of God. He cannot be outdone in generosity.

The message of Jesus here is very obvious; God knows how to take care of His own flock. Indeed, Jesus does not leave His followers exposed to risks. He forms them into another family, the family of God where blood ties are placed by faithfulness to Him and to the Gospel.

On our part, God returns a hundredfold more than what we have graciously given up. However, along with the hundredfold comes persecutions. He does not promise a bed of roses or an easy life, but also a blanket of thorns. Jesus is telling us that to follow Him is a costly affair; we have to work for Him, serve His flock, and fulfill the demands of the gospel. So, this means that there will be no eternal reward without carrying His Cross and without sharing in His suffering. As we join Jesus in His passion, so will we share in His glory.



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