Tuesday, February 28, 2017

We Have Given Up Everything

By Melanie Rigney

To keep the law is a great oblation, and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering. (Sirach 35:1-2)

To the upright, I will show the saving power of God. (Psalm 50:23b)

James Tissot [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
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." (Mark 10:28-31)

Lord, shine Your light on the parts of my life I attempt to shroud in darkness and secrecy. Help me to be willing to give them up to follow.

The sacrifice must have seemed great indeed to Peter. He had abandoned his fishing business, and it may be that his wife and family were less than supportive of the time he was spending with this Jesus who wandered about their countryside, challenging the pronouncements of authorities and talking in what sometimes seemed to be riddles. Peter and the some of the others had sacrificed their standing in the community, the respect of some of their neighbors, and not a little of their own pride, self-reliance, and disbelief.

The reward? It must have seemed unclear, other than that stirring in the disciples’ souls that they were being called to follow. While today’s Gospel reading is challenging, it is also comforting. If we follow, we will be rewarded, rewarded eternally in ways we cannot even image. We don’t have to walk away from people or possessions entirely. We do have to love the Lord first, last and always, and ensure that the people and things we love don’t get in the way of that.

Journal about the people or things in your life that take precedence over your relationship with the Lord. Talk with a priest or spiritual adviser about how ways you can rebalance your priorities. 

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