REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 25, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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…” Mk. 10:29-30
Our Christian calling entails making sacrifices and giving up something. Prior to our gospel reference today and rich man had come to Jesus and his encounter with Jesus, he turned away disappointed, and the disciples wondered what else they would have to do to enter God’s kingdom, so Peter asked what about us, “We have given up everything and followed you.”
It was as if Peter were patting himself on the back, attempting to highlight just how much he and the other disciples had sacrificed to follow Jesus. And it was true, they did give up everything of their former life. They left home, their occupation, their relationships, and everything that had been part of their daily established life in response to the call of Jesus. They were truly all in.
Jesus did not give the expected response. He did not say to Peter, “Yes, you have, that’s very impressive Peter. Rather, He calmed their fear by telling them that the sacrifices they had already made would certainly not go unrewarded. Jesus was aware of all they had given up and knew how much more they will go but He wanted to be clear with them that He would never abandon them, so, He invites them to give him more of every situation, every detail, and every aspect of their lives.
It can be tempting for us all, at times, to feel as though God asks too much of us. It’s true that God asks much of us. He asks everything from us. He asks for the complete and total gift of our lives to Him. He calls us to abandon all selfishness and to dedicate ourselves to His holy will without exception. But if we understand the reward of our self-giving, then the sacrifices we make will pale in comparison to the reward.
Reflect, today, upon whether you can say those words of the Apostle, Saint Peter: “Lord, I have given up everything to follow You.” Have you truly given your life completely to Christ Jesus? Are there things that you still hold back, not wanting to “sacrifice” for our Lord? Ponder those words of Peter and allow yourself to see the areas of your life you still need to surrender over to Jesus. And as you do so, allow the reward promised by our Lord to motivate you to the point that you truly hold nothing back and truly have given up everything to follow His holy will.
My Lord, You ask everything of me. You ask me to abandon everything in my pursuit of Your perfect will. Give me the grace I need to answer Your call and to live sacrificially for You without counting the cost. You are generous beyond description, dear Lord, and I trust that following You will produce an abundance of good fruit. Jesus, I trust in You.