Help me Lord to give up all to gain You forever!

Life can be confusing at times. We need clarification. Jesus with His previous teaching just brought the disciples beyond their comfortable point of knowledge. You must have been in such situations before. Once you were so sure of yourself. You felt like you could be the teacher if needed. However, you heard something that totally disoriented you.  Right after a wealthy young man refused to follow Jesus, Peter, somewhat crudely wanted to know what he and the other disciples would get out of it since they had freely accepted Jesus’offer to follow him unconditionally. Jesus spoke with utter honesty: Those who left all for him would receive a hundred times more now, even in this life, as well as unending  life in the age to come. Jesus’disciples can expect opposition and persecution from those who are opposed to Christ and his gospel.

As humans, we are motivated by rewards. As adults, love, reassurance, realization that our families are healthy and happy, and an inner peace are some of the rewards that matter. Christ must have realized that very human tendency when Peter, in today’s gospel, asked how they would be rewarded for following Him. But, little did Peter know that one by one most of the apostles would experience martyrdom. We can still sympathise with the human request of Peter who, as a follower of Jesus, looks for a return on his investment. He had yet to learn that goodness is its own reward or that ‘we should be good for nothing’. This is a lesson that we too must learn. It has been said that to offer God less than everything is to settle for less than God. As all we are is the gift of one who loves us unconditionally, we have nothing of our own to offer God but our consent to be loved.

The world has shaped so many of us that we are not willing to put our commitment to Christ and His call to share the gospel as life-shaping ‘unknowns’ in our lives. We believe we can plan on our own. We make our future. But the vulnerability that Christ calls us to is the opposite to self-confidence; it is God-confidence. Promises of eternity, and endless friendship with the Trinity, saints and angels, are still difficult for us as humans to realize, but that’s where our faith and trust come in. We are already experiencing eternity and God always holds us in the palm of His hand. When we lose our lives for Jesus Christ, we gain a priceless treasure and an inheritance which lasts forever. Whatever we give to God comes back a hundredfold. Generosity flows from a heart full of gratitude for the abundant mercy and grace which God grants. Do you give freely and generously? And why do you give, for reward or for love? Jesus’ promises are true, but some promises are only for those who qualify for them. It is such a privilege to be called by the Lord to give up someone or something for Him and thereby qualify to receive His promise of a hundred times as many in this age and everlasting life in the age to come.

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2 Responses

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