May 26, 2015
Tuesday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Sirach 35: 1-15
Gospel: Mark 10:28-31
Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “We have given up everything to follow you.” Jesus answered, “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. I say to you: even in the midst of persecution he will receive a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands in the present time and in the world to come eternal life. Do pay attention: Many who now are first will be last, and the last, first.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Today’s Gospel reading is sequel to the gospel episode where Jesus challenged a righteous rich young man to go up higher in the ladder of spirituality by giving up his properties in favor of the poor. By biblical standards he was already righteous for fulfilling all the commandments. It appears, however, that fulfilling the commandments was not sufficient preparation to follow Jesus. An aspirant had to divest himself of all riches in order to qualify. To Peter the scene was shocking. If it took so much to follow Jesus, what was at stake? What was in it for him? He asked this indirectly when he exclaimed, “We have given up everything to follow you.”
This “what-is-it-in-me” mentality has come down to our generation as the “commission” mentality. We expect reward for everything we do to our fellowmen. It’s the “what-is-it-in-me” mentality that renders unpleasant to the Lord even the good things we do to our fellowmen. This is also the manipulator’s instrument to bend the will of fellowmen to extract personal gain. All he does is make a dole in view of asking favors in the future.
We sport the same attitude in our relationship with God. We want him to pay us for behaving well. But must God be indebted for us for every good turn we do? Why expect a reward for doing what we are supposed to do? For doing our duty to God, fellowmen, and country we are not supposed to demand for an extra reward. ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” (Luke 17:10).
But Peter’s question must have been important to God because Jesus entertained it. Jesus took Peter seriously and assured him of heavenly reward. He even assured him of preliminary reward here on earth. Jesus said, “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. I say to you: even in the midst of persecution he will receive a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands in the present time and in the world to come eternal life.” – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, cleanse our hearts so that we may love you not for the reward we can expect but because you deserve all our love. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratorians, was born in Florence, Italy in 1515. At 18, after a mystical experience, he set out for Rome. He lived in a poor attic, and while educating his host’s children, he began his philosophical and theological studies. He was regarded as a promising scholar, when suddenly he sold his books and began to re-evangelize the corrupted city of Rome. In 1548, he founded the Confraternity of the Blessed Trinity to serve pilgrims and nurture the sick. Among his favorite devotions were the Visit to the Seven Churches and the Forty Hours. At the age of 36, he was ordained priest and in the same year, he founded the Congregation of the Oratory.