DAILY MEDITATION: “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house (…)"
Liturgical day: Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel text (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.”
“Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house (…) for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age (…) and eternal life in the age to come”
Fr. Jordi SOTORRA i Garriga
(Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, just like that landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard, the Lord is seeking disciples, followers and friends. His, is a universal call. A captivating offer, the Lord entrust us with! On one condition, though. One condition that may dishearten us: “for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel” you are to leave “house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands” (cf. Mk 10, 29).
But, is there any compensation? Shall there be any reward? Shall we make any gain out of it? Peter, in the name of the Apostles, reminds the Master: “We have given up everything and followed you” (Mk 10, 28), as if asking: what benefit shall we get?
The Lord's promise is very generous: “you will receive a hundred times more now in this present age (…) and eternal life in the age to come” (cf Mk 10, 30). He cannot be surpassed as far as generosity. But He adds: “with persecutions.” Jesus is very realistic and He does not want to deceive anybody. To be a disciple of his, if we are truly so, will bring us troubles and problems. However, Jesus considers persecutions and troubles a reward, for they help us to grow, if we accept and live through them as an opportunity to gain in maturity and responsibility. Whatever act of sacrifice makes us more like Jesus Christ who, by dying in the Cross, saves us.
We have always time to revise our life and get closer to Jesus Christ, especially during the times of Advent and Lent. Through prayer and the sacraments, these times and all times, we can find out whether we are amongst the disciples He is seeking, and decide which our answer must be to that call. Next to radical responses (such as those from the Apostles) there are others. For many, “to leave house, brothers or sisters, or father or mother…” will just mean whatever unable us to live deeply in Jesus' close friendship and, as a consequence, become his testimony before the world. And this is urgent, don't you think so?