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."
Prayer:Once again, Lord, I come to you to pray.
Even though I cannot see you, I trust that
you are present and want very much to instruct
me in your teachings. In the same way that you
demonstrate your love for me by spending this time
with me, I want to express my love for you
by dedicating this time to you with a spirit
of faith, confidence and attention. Here I am, Lord,
to listen to you and respond with love.
help me to have a pure intention in my acts
1. Peter’s Question: At first glance Peter seems
to be selfish, as if he were saying, “We have
given up everything, now what’s in it for us?”
His question is not prompted by selfishness, but rather is
a response to Jesus’ previous statement that it is
very hard for a rich man to enter heaven.
In light of the difficulty of riches, Peter wants to
know what the chances of entering the kingdom of
God will be for someone who has given up
everything to follow Christ. How detached from material possessions must
we be in order to be assured a place
in heaven? Jesus does not give us a concrete
answer to this question, but he does tell us that
those who have given up everything will not only
receive a reward of eternal life in the age to
come, but also ample reward in this life.
Real Motivation: Reward is not given only to those
who simply give things up, but rather to those who
give things up for the sake of Christ and
for love of the Gospel. Sacrifice for the sake
of sacrifice — or for that matter, sacrifice for a
selfish reason — is worth nothing in God’s eyes.
Sacrifice has value only when it is done for the
sake of Christ and his Gospel, for love. Our
intention in self-denial must be to glorify Christ or
to witness to the Gospel message. Is this the real
motivation of my self-denial?
3. Eternal Life: The reward
for our self-denial begins in this life and has
its culmination in the life to come. The difference
between one and the other is that in this life
there are also persecutions. In this life we enjoy
both the love of Christ and suffering persecutions for his
sake. This life is a life of purification of
our love, purification of our intentions. By proving our
love now, we will enjoy life with Christ for all
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know how
attached I am to myself, my possessions and my
comforts. Help me to give up what I need to
give up — out of love for you and
your Gospel, not out of love for myself or what
I might get out of it. Help me not
to be afraid to deny myself for the sake of
drawing nearer to you.
Resolution:I will give
up something that keeps me from drawing closer to God.