The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Eight Week in Ordinary Time
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. Edgar Calma):
I can still recall one of my professors in college who told me to persevere in learning how to let go of something in order to gain another thing. He believed that detachment will allow a person to mature and drive him to search for what is really essential in life. I must admit that such kind of outlook in life is very challenging. Learning to detach oneself from comfort, status, possessions, persons and positions in life is not a walk in the park, not an easy thing to do and that would really entail commitment and discipline.
The Gospel for today invites us to look deeper into the things that we treasure in life. What motivates us to aspire for fulfilment and satisfaction? What drives us to be happy and be contented in life? In the Gospel, Peter told Jesus that they have left everything to follow him. He was short of asking Jesus, what will be in-store for them since they have left everything for Jesus sake. Jesus’ reply was, “Truly, there is no one who has left house, or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel, who will not receive his reward.”
In our world today, leaving everything to follow Jesus may come in various forms and degrees. As we all know, priestly and religious vocations would really entail leaving everything behind to be able to embrace the kind of life for the ministry and the Church. However, for the laity, to follow Jesus may not necessarily mean leaving your own wealth, comfort, status, possessions and positions in life. A deeper understanding, commitment and passion are being asked for, in order to follow Christ in the ordinariness of the lay person’s life.
To follow Christ, we need to understand that material wealth and treasures are not the ultimate objective of our being. All our possessions and wealth are graces and gifts from God. We do not own these wealth but we are only stewards and caretakers. This kind of mindset allows us not to be controlled by these wealth and possessions but gives us the opportunity to be of service to others. Moreover, leaving everything to follow Jesus is a commitment… a lifetime commitment of searching for true and genuine happiness in life. In fact, sometimes true and genuine happiness is being experienced in the ordinariness of our life by doing simple and little things with great love and passion. These simple things may come in a form of a smile, a kind gesture, a nod, and words of affirmation, kindness and positive outlook even in the midst of difficulties. The little things may be in a form of a thank you note via text or email, Facebook and twitter messages.
Finally, leaving everything behind, is to allow Christ to be the ultimate reason of our existence that drives us to be happy, fulfilled and contented in life.