Over the past few months I have been using an electronic devotional put out by the Jesuits to help center and focus my days and energy. I have found it helpful as I become distracted and disconnected from the things that truly matter in my life. Today’s meditation was based upon the scripture found in Mark 10:28-31, where Jesus teaches, “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
I found the meditation that accompanied the scripture both challenging and refreshing at the same time…
May it speak to you the same way it spoke to me.
I imagine, like the disciples, we’ve all found ourselves saying to God: “I have given up so much to follow you….What’s in it for me?” Far from selfish, this question is genuinely human.
In trying to live our lives as Christians we come to know sacrifice. We sacrifice our freedom, desires, and dreams when we commit to a vocation, a relationship, a job, or a child. We make material and physical sacrifices for the people we love. We sacrifice popularity, recognition, or acceptance when we stand up for what is right. In whatever form it takes, sacrifice is not comfortable or easy. It often seems a burden and a loss.
In today’s Gospel, however, Jesus flips our view upside down: paradoxically, sacrifice leads to joy, contentment, and fulfillment. A meaningful and rich life comes through putting ourselves aside for others. And each time we do, God promises fulfillment one hundred times over.
In what ways has God blessed you through the commitments you’ve made? Ask God today for the grace of seeing your sacrifices in a new light.